A new multipurpose learning center and greenhouse will be built on the Oglala Lakota College He Sapa campus in Rapid City, thanks to a grant from the Ford College Community Challenge. According to the Rapid City Journal, Oglala Lakota College (OLC), Purdue University, and the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T) were awarded $250,000, which will be used to design and construct the addition to the He Sapa campus.
The project is tied to the Engineering Projects in Community Service program at SDSM&T and Purdue, where students can earn credit for working with teams that tackle big issues – like education and nutrition on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Students from all three schools will work together on the learning center and greenhouse project.
Project leaders hope that the greenhouse will help integrate STEM, culture, and food-sovereignty topics and help community members develop greater independence in Native communities and “build diversified community solutions,” said Amanda Ruiz, an OLC and SDSM&T student working on the project.