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CCNY Students to Build Native American Community Center in S. Dakota

Members of CCNY's Engineers Without Boarders student chapter on a trip to Milla Tres, Honduras, where they helped improve water distribution.

In recent years, The City College of New York's Engineers Without Borders-USA student chapter has spent summers and winter break working on water distribution and sanitation projects in rural Honduras. This winter, the chapter will extend its goodwill closer to home and help build a green and sustainable community center on a reservation.

Five members of the chapter are headed to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota to spend a week, January 20-27, helping develop a community center for the Sicangu Lakota and Rosebud Sioux tribes. The center will be part of the larger scale Keya Wakpala Waíçageyapi (Turtle Creek Development) venture —a multi-phased project on over 600 acres of land. 

The project's goal is to provide a central location for the community to hold ceremonies and gatherings.

The team traveling to South Dakota is:

  •  Frank Poma, project manager (junior, civil engineering);
  • Alexander Swyst, secretary (junior, mechanical engineering);
  • Darlenis Ventura, assistant project manager (junior, civil engineering);
  • Jillian Panagakos (junior, environmental engineering);
  • Nadia Makara, advisor (Class of 2014, environmental engineering).

Their project will feature construction that is based on principles of resilient green design.

The community requested that local labor and materials be incorporated into the design process whenever possible to ensure that it is both culturally relevant as well as sustainable.

The 30-member chapter's previous work has focused mainly on improving water distribution and sanitation in the Honduran communities of La Nueva Suiza, Las Chicas and Milla Tres.  

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture;the School of Education;the Grove School of Engineering;the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.

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