Nygren signs funding for construction of residential buildings at Navajo Prepatory School

Students at Navajo Prepatory School pose for photos with Navajo President Buu Nygren during his recent visit to the school. (Photo/OPVP)

Students at Navajo Prepatory School pose for photos with Navajo President Buu Nygren during his recent visit to the school. (Photo/OPVP)

FARMINGTON, N.M.— Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren signed emergency legislation on Nov. 2 before the student body of Navajo Preparatory School to provide $3 million to build a new residential building.

“Our young people are the future of the Navajo Nation and we must provide them with a quality education rooted in our language and culture,” Nygren said.

The new 13,000-square-foot building will be two stories tall. Within each student pod will be a den for eight students, and a washer and dryer.

School administrators said the funding will help the school fulfill its mission. Navajo Prep provides secondary education with an emphasis on Navajo studies and language immersion.

The legislation was approved by the Navajo Nation Council unanimously In October. It’s seen as a priority of Nygren’s.

On June 14, he attended the groundbreaking for a new residential building and said the new addition would help students better prepare for college because the dorm would replicate a college dorm setting.

“When they transition to college, it’s not much of a transition because they’ll completely understand the inner workings,” he said.

Nygren said he’d waste no time to sign legislation to provide additional funding to the school.

Curley thanked the Council for its support of Navajo students’ needs.

Delegate Andy Nez, the sponsor of the funding legislation, said the Navajo Nation has to ensure that the future of its Navajo youth who attend Navajo Prep is secured.

“I was happy to witness the groundbreaking to be a part of the education and just to ensure that we’re investing in the next generation,” Nez said.

Nygren was joined at the signing by Delegates Nez, Shawna Claw, Curtis Yanito, and Amber Crotty.

During the 2022 and 2023 New Mexico Legislative Sessions, Navajo Prep advocated for new student housing to increase its student population. Its advocacy paid off and the school was appropriated $7 million in capital outlay funding.

Shawna Becenti, Navajo Prep Head of School, said the students witnessing the signing ceremony experienced a “beautiful event.”

“We wanted to make sure that we showcased our students because, ultimately, this building is for them,” she said. “I love that the Navajo Nation is joining the state of New Mexico in investing in our future which is our children. Having that support from the nation, it means everything to us.”

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