Chefornak Head Start Building
CCHRC is helping design a new Head Start building for Chefornak, a Yup’ik village of roughly 400 in southwest Alaska. Chefornak sits on the Kinia River, just a little upriver from the Bering Sea, in a region that has become extremely susceptible to erosion in recent years as sea ice retreats and fall storms intensify. The Head Start program in Chefornak provides pre-K education and Yup’ik language skills to village youth. The current building is located on a quickly eroding riverbank and is very difficult to access during flood and winter storms. Additionally, the indoor air quality and structural integrity of the building are not up to safe standards. The new building will incorporate healthy indoor air quality and energy efficiency, and be able to the environmental change that is affecting the region. Partners include the community, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, health professionals and a private design firm.