Tribal health center ‘green’ certified

NEW TOWN The Three Affiliated Tribes’ Elbowoods Memorial Health Center in New Town has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED certified buildings are more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Elbowoods Memorial Health Center qualifications for the certification include:

– Building designed to use about 30 percent less energy than comparable buildings using more conventional heating and cooling systems.

– Building designed to use less electrical energy for lighting by employing compact fluorescent light sources.

– Building designed to use 30 percent less water comparable to similar function using conventional fixtures.

– Interior finish materials were selected considering their recycled nature as well as their positive enhancement to indoor air quality.

– Site design elements to restore and enhance the ability for native vegetation to grow as well as ensuring the quality of water leaving the site.

– Reduced construction waste during construction and employing other opportunities other than disposing these materials in a landfill.

The 43,000-square-foot Elbowoods Memorial Health Center opened in October 2011 at its site north of Fort Berthold Community College in New Town. It offers preventive and therapeutic health services.

HDR Architecture Inc. of Denver designed the health center. Marion Trucking and Construction Co. of Dunseith was the general contractor and Comstock Construction Inc. of Wahpeton, the subcontractor, for the $20 million health center.

Construction of the facility was financed through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The health center is named for the former community of Elbowoods and the hospital that operated there many years ago. With the construction of the Garrison Dam, Elbowoods, located about 25 miles south of Parshall on the Fort Berthold Reservation, was flooded by Lake Sakakawea. The Minne-Tohe Health Center was built west of New Town in the 1960s and was the main medical facility for tribal members for many years until the new health center opened.

Site housing

The first phase of the health center site construction also includes 50 homes for staff. Twelve pre-built stick homes are onsite at the present time and more are arriving each week, said Jim Foote, project manager.

An 84-by-60-foot maintenance shop for the health center is expected to be built this year, Foote said. The maintenance shop is part of the health center’s phase one construction.

He said the second phase also is under way to plan the construction for more homes. The second phase will have 65 more homes and that construction is scheduled to start next year, Foote said.

The funding for the housing and its infrastructure was provided by the Three Affiliated Tribes. The land for the housing was purchased by the tribes several years ago.