Pokagon Band Tribal School - 7gen

Pokagon Band Tribal School


Education Tribal


Dowagiac, Michigan


Programming and Visioning

The Education Committee for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi asked Seven Generations Architecture and Engineering to work with their educational curriculum consultant to design a concept for a new Tribal School. The proposed school will house 650 students from preK-12 grades. An initial building for preK-6 will be designed for expansion with core facilities in place for the future.

The concept is to provide a student-centered school with direct access to exterior learning spaces. Thermal comfort, acoustic control, and natural daylight will enhance the teaching and learning environment. Exterior learning spaces include a Forest Lab, Water Lab, and Prairie Lab. Student-centered classrooms will have technology and movable furniture allowing multiple learning modalities. Flexible learning spaces are important. The gymnasium, cafeteria, and dance/drumming studio are adjacent spaces that open together to provide a large assembly room. The gym will have an upper jogging track and physical fitness area. The school will be oriented on the site in a traditional circular fashion with a main eastern entrance. The initial preK-6 building will be placed in the eastern direction, representing new birth. Future classroom additions will complete the circle.

The Pokagon Neshnabe School will be a culturally infused, community-based learning environment that promotes each student in navigating traditional pathways in a modern world.

The crew for this project.


Project Executive

Scott Winchester, AIA

Senior Project Manager | Tribal Liaison

Sara Tripp, AIA, LEED AP

Architectural Designer

Providing a place of healing and restoration.

What Impact can We Make with you?