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New Indigenous Scholars Institute Coming to Scottsdale Community College

Rendering of SCC's Cloud Song Center. Submitted by SCC

A future 33,000-square-foot building on the Scottsdale Community College campus is being billed as a “destination Native American cultural center” by the college president.

Construction for the Cloud Song Center is expected to start this spring, with completion pegged for 2018. It will be home to an Indigenous Scholars Institute, along with SCC’s Business School. Most of the funding for the $11.2 million building comes from 2004 bond money for capital projects, according to an SCC news release.

SCC sits on the western part of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, near Loop 202. The Cloud Song Center will be located on the southeast end of campus. About 11,000 students attend SCC during a given semester, mostly part-time students, according to the college’s website. Only 4 percent of the student population identifies as Native American. SCC has an American Indian Program, which includes American Indian studies and tribal court advocacy. SCC also has a Native club called Sun Earth Alliance.

“We value deeply our tremendous partnership with SRPMIC and the business community and look forward to bringing this project to fruition with their continued support and involvement,” SCC President Jan Gehler said in a statement. “This building will be a destination Native American cultural center and will support high-quality teaching and learning for many generations of SCC students.”

Facilities scheduling services will also share the building with business students and the Institute.

A look at SCC's Cloud Song Cene's business school entrance.
Submitted by SCC
The Institute side of the building will include a meeting room, private study rooms and other spaces dedicated to teaching Native culture, history and current events, according to the news release. Outside the building, a space will be dedicated for hosting related events and activities.

The Business School side will have six classrooms, a learning center, eight faculty offices and some student support space. Initially, the project called for three buildings, but changed to one building because of budget constraints, according to SCC.

“The Business School entrance will face west while the Indigenous Scholars Institute entryway will face east, looking out toward SRPMIC lands,” according to the news release.