SHIPROCK, N.M. - Dine' College at Shiprock held a dedication and grand opening celebration Nov. 18 to welcome all to the new Senator John Pinto Library. DLR Group, architects of the new library designed the dramatic facility that will become a central gathering place for students and the community at large. The community was invited to festivities which began with a continental breakfast and the traditional dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. Senator John Pinto, Dine' College President Maggie George, and others spoke during the event. A lunch, entertainment and tours of the facility followed throughout the day.
"We are pleased to see the plan for this beautiful library come to fruition. The project is the result of the efforts of many people and much planning, dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. The facility will be the jewel of Shiprock and the surrounding area. It will be an important learning resource for our students, staff, and faculty, and the entire community. We invite all of our friends, relatives, and the general public to join with us in celebrating the library's Grand Opening on Friday, November 18th," said Maggie George," President of Diné College.
The 20,000 square foot library, named after long-time legislator and Navajo Code Talker Senator John Pinto, was completed through funding from the State of New Mexico, grants for the federal HUD programs and other revenue streams. The unique design integrates the form of the traditional Navajo hogan and the holistic representation of the Navajo world-view. The design further expresses the cultural value of a gentle and welcoming spirit seen in arched forms and walls. Spaces created between the large curved forms direct the vision toward sacred points of connection in landmarks and celestial relationships that surround and define the world of the Diné.
Such special points of connection are located throughout the library using a variety of techniques ranging from framed views to incised native narratives in floor and wall surfaces. "The essence of the central hogan can be seen from the courtyard at the eastern bridge," said Lead Designer, Karl Derrah of DLR Group, "One of the most exciting elements of the project is the family Hogan. We've replicated this form at the center of the library in the Storytelling Room with a dramatic, blue translucent opening rising like a prayer through the roof of the library." Lights and fiber optics in the ceiling display the big dipper, the northern star and other constellations important to the storytelling tradition. Construction by Jaynes Corp. began in August 2009.
DLR Group is a nationally recognized, full-service design firm with 15 offices nationwide. Design is the driving force behind our architecture, engineering, planning, and interiors practice. DLR Group's philosophy is to listen to clients, create exciting design that fulfills the client's goals, and deliver on the promise of quality, integrity and sustainability.
Founded in 1968, the first of 37 tribal colleges, Diné College has its main campus in Tsaile, Arizona and a branch campus at Shiprock with its north and south locations The new John Pinto Library is located on Shiprock's South Campus (directly West of City Market). An additonal six sites are spread out through the Navajo Nation in the communities of Tuba City, Chinle, Window Rock, Ganado and Kayenta, Arizona and at Crownpoint, New Mexico. The College serves approximately 2,000 students each semester. Diné College is a public institution of higher education chartered by the Navajo Nation. The mission of Diné College is to apply the Sá'ah Naagháí Bik'eh Hózhóón principles to advance quality student learning through Nitsáhákees (Thinking), Nahatá (Planning), Iiná (Living) and Siih Hasin (Assuring).
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