Navajo Technical University constructs gazebos to offer outdoor learning spaces
CROWNPOINT, N.M. — Navajo Technical University (NTU) began construction of outdoor gazebos at its main campus and four instructional sites to offer outdoor spaces for instruction and activities for students, faculty, and staff.
The project began through a collaboration to develop an approach for the return to full operation in the 2021 fall semester that presents safe and new learning spaces.
The gazebos will be made with features such as an electrical white board and solar panels. Leading the assembly for the project are the construction technology students who are supported by the administration.
“We are looking for true engagement in every phase of the project, from concept to site prep to landscaping to reservations for classes in the fall,” said NTU Provost Dr. Colleen Bowman in her discussion about the installation of gazebos across NTU and Instructional sites. “As the structures are put in place by our trade students, other students will take on the task of completing the aesthetics of each outdoor learning environment.”
The student leadership team, made up with NTU graduates, who are overseeing the development are: Tyson Ramone, assistant project manager; Felicia Chischilly, project historian and Keanu Jones, project photographer/videographer.
The first gazebo to be built is a 24 x 24 foot area located east of the cafeteria overlooking the campus. There will be two other gazebos placed at this location. Students from NTU’s construction technology and welding programs have led the first phase by pouring concrete for the foundation of the first gazebo.
“Participating with hands-on classroom activities like this gives me a better understanding of the kind of work I will be doing after I graduate,” said NTU construction student Kemitri Barbone about his experience as a student in the program. “I want to see this project finished and am excited to enroll this fall so I can enjoy what I helped build.”
The final phase will be overseen by NTU’s Energy System Instructor Derrick Lee and his intern, who will install solar panels on the roof of the gazebo.
The power will be used to operate an electrical white board which will be fabricated by Shanidiin Piechowski-Begay, NTU’s automotive instructor. The white board will be designed mechanically to open while it is being used by students and instructors.
The gazebos kits were purchased with CARES funding for all NTU campuses and will allow students to engage in project-based learning. Dr. Peter Romine, NTU head of Electrical Engineering, assisted with locating other funding sources from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), San Jose State University’s (SJSU) Mineta Transportation Center (MTC) and NTU Transportation Workforce Development.
Information provided by Navajo Technical University