Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School on Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Bena, Minnesota will receive nearly $12 million for repairs and improvements. The support will help the school make critical repairs and create a safer learning environment for students on the reservation.
Not originally designed or constructed to house a high school, the school funded by the Bureau of Indian Education serves as an example of a structure that requires replacement to address safety and educational needs. The new resources come from the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Facility Component Replacement Program, which is being funded for the first time in half a decade.
“The significant health and safety hazards I witnessed firsthand when I visited the Bug School with Rep. Rick Nolan are deplorable and required my efforts toward funding this program for the first time since 2011 to replace individual buildings and facilities,” said Minnesota Congressman John Kline, chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
Congressman Kline and Senator Al Franken helped the school received the federal funding. Senator Franken, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, has been working since 2009 to secure funding to fix the school and hosted a Senate “field” hearing in the region in 2010. He credited the tribe, lawmakers, and the Obama Administration for working together.