Bureau of Indian Affairs

BIA Chi Chil Tah Jones Ranch Community School

Vanderwagon, NM
70,000 SF

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) retained a team within the Bodwé Professional Services Group to provide planning and conceptual design services to replace the existing Chi Chil Tah Jones Ranch Community School, parts of which date back to the 1930s.

The new 70,000-square-foot facility will be used to teach students in grades K-8.The project will also include a 20-unit student dormitory to house up to 40 students. Staff quarters will also be built onsite and include a variety of housing types such as a detached home, three two-bedroom duplexes and one triplex. The project will also include a 3,000-square-foot bus maintenance building.

Bus maintenance building

Interior and exterior design concepts reflect the Navajo (Diné) culture, including an east-facing entry to welcome the first light of the morning into the school. Colors representing the four directions have been incorporated into wayfinding and floor elements. Selected building and design materials resonate with the distinctive New Mexico landscape.

A classroom will be dedicated and specially designed to support cultural learning. The interior of the cultural classroom is inspired by the octagonal floor plan and layered ceiling of a Hogan, the traditional dwelling of the Navajo people.

Student and faculty housing designed to flow with existing landscape

Project challenges included designing the new facility and its critical site infrastructure on a constricted hilltop location. Our team designed the facility with sustainability in mind by implementing high-performing, long-lasting building materials and systems that are easy to maintain due to the remote nature of the school. The facility is projected to achieve LEED Silver Certification.

Contact us

If you are interested in beginning a new project, you are a potential teaming partner, or you just want to chat about great architecture and engineering, please drop us a note.

Bodwé Professional Services

415 E. Prairie Ronde St.
Dowagiac, Michigan 49047

Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering

600 East Michigan Avenue
Suite B
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

3463 Magic Drive,
Suite T15
San Antonio, TX 78229

The Steelhead Engineering Company

259 E. Michigan Ave.,
Suite 407
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

WBK Engineering

116 W. Main St.
Suite 201
St. Charles, IL 60174

68 E. Michigan Ave.
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Blue Star Integrative Studio

320 S. Boston Avenue
Ste. 1710
Tulsa, OK 74103

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