As many members have observed, the Kinnamon School Project has been idle for the last two months thus creating rumors of improprieties or lack of funding. I will attempt to provide a clear explanation of the current status of this project.
The Kinnamon School Project is a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded project. When the grant was written and subsequently awarded in the amount of $789,000 dollars, funds covered the renovation costs for the existing building alone. As this building will serve the community with multiple amenities, it was determined that the issue of accessibility needed to be addressed for our guests with physical disabilities. As a result, an architectural design of the building illustrating a north facing vestibule was developed to meet these accommodations.
As the current HUD funds do not include funding for the vestibule addition, the Tribal Governing Board approved a portion of the 2013 Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) application and submission to cover this expense (Notice of 2013 ICDBG awards were to be announced the first week of September to applicant tribes). Unfortunately, on September 4, 2013 we received notice from H.U.D. that our application was not selected for this funding cycle.
The vestibule requires mechanics, i.e. heating and cooling ducts/vents, an elevator, plumbing and electrical installed. Since this infrastructure ties into the existing school, it was not monetarily feasible to continue with renovation until we received notice on the ICDBG funding announcement. As an example, we did not want to continue the cedar siding installation on the north side of the building only to have to remove it once the vestibule was under construction. The same example would apply to the other aforementioned mechanics.
As a result of our unsuccessful ICDBG submission, the project team reviewed and made modifications to the building plans in order to reduce project costs and include the vestibule addition. To date, the expenditures for renovation are $247,000 dollars leaving a remaining balance of $348,000 dollars in current H.U.D. grant funding. As the remaining funds are insufficient to cover a portion of the additional costs associated with the vestibule, the Tribal Governing Board dedicated $55,000.00 dollars to complete this project.
LCO Development is the General Contractor for the Kinnamon School Project. As the General Contractor, LCO Development is contracted and responsible for procuring, sub-contracting, storing materials and renovating the school. LCO Development Superintendent Robert Sharlow estimates project completion by the end of February 2014.
If anyone has additional questions, please contact me at the tribal Office 634-8934 ext. 401.