Participating in the groundbreaking were (from left) Vice-President of Operations for Bette & Cring Construction Group Howard Cring, USDA Rural Development Acting-State Director Scott Collins and Northern Region Area Director Brian Murray, Tribal Chief Beverly Cook, Tribal Chief Eric Thompson, Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance, Beardsley Architects and Engineers Vice-President of A/E Practice Barry Halperin and Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro.
Published April 25, 2017
AKWESASNE – On Onerahtókha/April 24, 2017; the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe held a formal groundbreaking of a new 54,700-square-foot Tribal Administration Building at 71 Business Park Road in Akwesasne, New York. When completed in September 2018; the three-story building will house 18 tribal offices, provide parking for 225 vehicles, as well as serve as an Emergency Operations Center.
“This is an historic and much-anticipated moment for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, as well as for the community of Akwesasne,” stated Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance on behalf of the Tribal Council. He noted, “After four decades of growth in Akwesasne, we are proud that the new Tribal Administration Building will enhance our community’s infrastructure and strengthen our ability to be deliver essential services.”
Designed by Beardsley Architects and Engineers of Malone, New York; the new Tribal Administration Building will incorporate elements of energy conservation and unique building features. In addition to improved office space; the facility will include several meeting rooms and classrooms, ample storage and will be entirely handicap accessible. It will also be energy efficient with the usage of alternative energy sources; such as solar panels and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
The new Tribal Administration Building will replace the Community Building located at 412 State Route 37, which has housed the ever-expanding organization since it first opened in 1977. Since that time, the building has undergone several renovations and alterations to accommodate a growing workforce, as it was never intended to be utilized as office space. As a result, deficiencies exist that prevent any further renovations without significantly disrupting tribal services to the community; such as inadequate heating and cooling systems, inefficient building insulation, limited access to natural light, and lack of sufficient egress, to name a few.
“As an employer, the Tribe has the responsibility to ensure the well-being of our workforce by providing a healthy and safe work environment,” said Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro. He added, “The existing building is nearing the end of its practical use and we are proud that the new Tribal Administration Building will help enhance the effectiveness of tribal government by improving the public’s access to 18 tribal programs and government offices at one convenient location.”
The project site for the new Tribal Administration Building will be located on approximately seven-acres at Generations Park in Akwesasne; which is also the location of the Tribe’s Office for the Aging, Tribal Police Department, Tribal Court, Diabetes Center for Excellence, Travis Solomon Memorial Lacrosse Box, Tewathahitha Walking Trail, and several recreation and athletic fields. The site will be easily accessible for visitors, with a sidewalk connecting the walking trail to promote exercise and improve the overall health of tribal staff and guests.