When the Navajo Nation Presidential Forum takes its traveling tour to Crownpoint, New Mexico on July 21, Navajo Technical University will be setting the stage for 17 presidential candidates with its newly constructed comprehensive wellness center.
The forum will be the first event held in the 23,537-square-foot facility, which is expected to open its doors to students and the community permanently on August 30. The new facility will have multiple uses and will include a multi-purpose center and weight room, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a two story gymnasium.
The gymnasium will serve as the central location for the Presidential Forum and will have a capacity for about 900 people to witness the third installment of the democratic discussion sponsored by the Navajo Times and KTNN-KWRK radio.
“It’s going to be quite an event,” said NTU athletic director George LaFrance. “The forum will be the first use for the new facility, but we plan on utilizing the comprehensive center for other things like educational purposes, wellness programs, community events, and graduation ceremonies.”
LaFrance also stated that the gymnasium will play host to several inter and intramural athletic events such as volleyball, archery, soccer, and basketball for students, staff, and the community.
“We currently compete in intercollegiate athletics in the sports of rodeo, cross country, and archery,” said LaFrance. “We are looking for athletes now. There are plenty of talented, young athletes here on the Navajo Nation and we’ll be providing them the opportunities to not only compete at the collegiate level, but to also obtain a quality education close to home.”
The 2014 Navajo Nation Presidential Forum is a free public event and will be broadcast live on KTNN-660 AM – 96.1 FM. Navajo Technical University’s IT department will also stream the event live on the university’s website. The forum will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include a meet and greet with candidates from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Presidential candidates will be allowed to bring the following: one table, two chairs, and promotional items to the event, but trailers or other large displays are strictly prohibited from being set up on campus.
Funding for the $4.8 million comprehensive wellness center was provided by a plethora of funders including: the state of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Arviso Construction is expected to complete the comprehensive wellness center on Monday, July 21.