After six years of planning, politicking and a near-successful funding block, construction will begin on the Osage Nation Welcome Center in early 2014. It will be the first phase of construction of the Osage Campus Master Plan.
Total estimated cost of the construction for phase one is $23 million. Ten million will come from a loan from a banking institution and $13 million will come from the Nation’s treasury. There are three phases to the plan and each phase is estimated to take two years construction time.
According to the master plan, the Nation’s police department and Treasury office will get new buildings. Other entities including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, roads, Tax Commission, Tribal Membership Office, the Osage News, Strategic Planning & Grants Management, Constituent Services and other government branches will also receive new buildings.
Historical buildings including the Superintendent’s house, Tribal Museum and Principal Chief’s office will remain standing. Seattle-based architectural firm CollinsWoerman created the master plan and has been working with the Nation since 2009. A planning committee selected the firm in 2009 during the Principal Chief Jim Gray administration.
The master plan committee conducted over 60 staff and elected official interviews, 30 staff department surveys, dozens of staff meetings, and two public outreach sessions over a two-year period, according to the prepared release.
A job fair was held at the Pawhuska Business Development Center on Dec. 4. Those interested in applying for work on the construction of the Osage Nation Welcome Center and office building should contact the Osage Nation Education Department at (918) 287-5302 or the ON Human Resources at (918) 287-5642.