Pine Ridge Justice Center Complex: Fact Sheet



Project Description

The Oglala Sioux Tribe, Department of Public Safety has been awarded a contract to construct an approximately 93,320-square-foot, free-standing justice center in Pine Ridge, South Dakota that will bring its judicial system under one roof. The project is part of a $40 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) under the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, a law that provides Indian tribes greater control over funding that affects their welfare.

The new facility will house administration and public safety offices, a crime lab, courtrooms, judicial chambers and a short-term detention center. The project also includes an enhanced communication tower system that will allow the Department of Public Safety to be on the federal digital 911 system and associated frequencies, plus quarters for law enforcement.

The Pine Ridge Justice Center project is designed to be one of the first to follow the BIA Office of Facilities Management and Construction’s new programming and design guidelines for justice/detention facilities.

Project Components:

    • Oglala Sioux tribal courts (supreme and lower courts including civil, criminal, family, juvenile and traffic)

    • Attorney general’s office

    • Public defender’s office

    • Public safety offices (law enforcement, crime lab and 911 dispatch)

    • Corrections facility (64 adult and 18 juvenile beds)

    • Department of Public Safety (DPS) administration offices

    • Housing for tribal police officers

Project Timeline

Construction of the new Pine Ridge Justice Center is expected to commence by the fall of 2011 and take approximately 15 months to complete.

Sept.-Oct. 2010: Award of contracts to construction management/owner’s representative and architectural firms.

June 2011: Submittal of 40% of planning and design documents. Initiation of construction document preparation.

Summer 2011: Request for proposals from qualified general contractors and award of contract.

Year-end 2011: Commencement of construction.

Within 15 months: Completion of construction

Project Team

    Oglala Sioux Tribe, Department of Public Safety (OST-DPS)

    Oglala Sioux Tribal Court

    Bureau of Indian Affairs Criminal Investigation Unit

    Design: Venture Architects/Standing Stone Design

    Construction Management/Owner’s Representative: Gruen Associates/Beezley Management

Key Design Elements

    • Ceremonial outdoor circular courtyard will serve as the focus for the new facility. Its purpose is to be a place of reflection and healing, as well as a location for many restorative justice ceremonies. All public spaces and major waiting areas will ring around this area.

    • Special Restorative Justice Courtroom will accommodate circle sentencing/talking circle events that keep with traditional native peacemaking principles.

    • Cultural artwork design competition will be open to all Oglala Sioux tribal members who are residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Selected artwork will be prominently displayed in all public areas to represent the Lakota way of life, values, history, significant events, historic figures and leaders, and role models.

    • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver rating, resulting from geo-thermal heating/cooling, high efficiency mechanical systems, enhanced commissioning, construction phase recycling, natural day lighting in all courtrooms, and other sustainable materials, systems, and practices.

Next Steps

In summer 2011, OST-DPS will issue a Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposals (RFP/RFQ) from qualified firms interested in pursuing the general contractor role during the project’s construction and pre-construction phases. Interested contractors can register to receive RFP/RFQ information in July 2011 by visiting and selecting “Pine Ridge Justice Center” from the drop down menu.

The Pine Ridge Justice Center project is subject to the requirements of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (TERO). Details are available to those who register on the project website.

About the Pine Ridge Reservation

Encompassing 1.75 million acres of tribal and individual trust land, the Pine Ridge Reservation is the second largest Indian reservation in the United States. Home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the community faces the challenges of overcrowding, homelessness and an 80 percent unemployment rate. As of 2011, population estimates of the reservation range from 28,000 to 40,000.

About Gruen Associates/Beezley Management

The team of Gruen Associates/Beezley Management provides architectural, construction management and related services for both public and private projects throughout the U.S. and internationally. They deliver solutions that are responsive to a community’s unique needs and integrated into a local physical and cultural context.

20/20: Children of the Plains Report

If you have a chance please watch the report aired on 20/20 by Diane Sawyer entitled “Children of the Plains.” The struggles on Indian Country can NOT be forgotten.