The Taos Pueblo Head Start program began with a ground breaking ceremony Nov. 21 for the construction of a 2,400 sq. m building.
It will house up to 60 Head Start students, and 40 day-care children.
"The tribe had a dream to bring all the kids together in one place," said Carmen Lieurance, Head Start director.
The building is to be constructed out of earth blocks and viga ceilings. The soil for the earth blocks was donated by the Warchief's office.
Major funding for the project came from federal Housing and Urban Development monies ($714,477 U.S.) and a Head Start Administration ($200,000 U.S.) grant. Other funding came from the New Mexico State Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which put forward $22,500 U.S. for a state-of-the-art solar floor and energy-efficient lighting.
Instead of a wire fence around the school, planners have selected to construct an adobe wall. An adobe fund was set up and adobe blocks were sold at $1 each with proceeds reaching $5,000.
But it has not always been fun and games for the planners of the Head Start building. A thief stole all the computer equipment containing the plans for the project out of architect John Tansey's office causing a delay.
But the special project could not be undone and hurdle after hurdle was jumped to get the project on line.
It's been five years since we started on this project, said Lieurance. "Now it's going to happen. This is a joyful time."