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Funding awarded to replace old, moldy, rodent-infested elementary schools on ND reservations


CANNON BALL, N.D. -- Two federal grants totaling more than $10 million will fund construction of elementary schools on the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Indian Reservations, according to an announcement made Tuesday, March 13,  by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

The money has been awarded to Solen School District and the Oberon School District to construct new elementary schools due to the unacceptable conditions of the current buildings.

“This is a great step forward for both Cannon Ball and Oberon — two communities serving Indian Country that are in desperate need for new elementary schools,” Heitkamp said. “When a child shows up for class each day and has to deal with mold growth, rodent infestations and a building that is literally falling apart, it sends a message to the students that they are not worth an investment in their future.”

The federal grants will be distributed as follows:

  • Solen School District #3, Standing Rock: $5.3 million in federal funding that will be dispersed over three years to replace the Cannon Ball Elementary School, which was originally built in the 1930s.
  • Oberon School District #16, Spirit Lake: $4.6 million in federal funding that will be dispersed over the next three years to construct a new Oberon Elementary School, which was built more than 100 years ago.

“It’s important to have a healthy and safe environment in order for students to learn and reach their full potential,” Hoeven said.