Thu Aug 1st, 2019
The Southern Ute Drum
Many former students and staff members of the Head Start fondly remember their time within the historic Head Start building and the three temporary modular building that sit to the east. These relics of the former Head Start Program were officially removed at the end of June after nearly a month of preparation.
With the help of these Tribal Departments: Building Maintenance, Construction Services, Grounds Maintenance and Tribal Housing, wooden walkways were successfully removed, and the site was cleaned up to prevent any harm from hazardous material visitors and staff walking on Tribal Campus.
Property and Facilities Department Director, Tyson Thompson explained that the buildings were being removed from Tribal Campus because they were showing signs of aging. Two of the modular units had been a part of the Head Start program since 1992, serving as an extension from the main building to hold more classrooms. The newer of the three units that was used for the early Head Start program was installed in 1999.
The classrooms remained in use until late 2018 when the Southern Ute Tribe terminated their relationship with the Southern Ute Community Action Program (SUCAP) which forced the Head Start Program to close doors. Almost a year prior in October of 2017, the modulars and the Early Head Start building were the only three buildings in use as the main Head Start building was closed because it was declared unsafe due to the hazardous materials that were used to build it.
The three classrooms that were affected by the building closure were moved to the Southern Ute Cultural Center where they spent the remainder of the school year. The three modular units still held classes at that time.
The modular units have remained vacant since the Tribal Council terminated their relationship with SUCAP eleven months ago. The previous Executive Office administration came to the decision to remove the buildings in a campus wide project within the past year.
“[As of now] The future of the Head Start area is undetermined,” says Thompson. Tribal council will continue to discuss any ideas regarding what the tribe will use the space for in the future as well as the fate of the historic Head Start building.
As for Head Start modular units, they will be salvaged and scrapped by two outside companies from Farmington and Cortez. All Head Start structures are expected to be removed from Tribal Campus by early to mid-August and are currently being held near Custom Farms until picked up. The removal of the Head Start buildings was just one phase of a bigger project to remove temporary modular or trailers like the ones that held Tribal Housing and Elder Services. Stay tuned for more information on the removal project in a future issue of the Southern Ute Drum.