MIAMI - The Peoria Tribe broke ground Saturday, March 7 on what will become an impressive idea that has become a reality.

The community campus is an idea that came to light nearly two years ago. The campus will begin with the Longhouse Community Center and the Woodland Academy Learning Center, but will soon grow to include a Wellness Center and a Cultural Center.

“It is a tribe’s great responsibility to provide protection and provisions for it’s people and for it’s citizens,” said Chief Craig Harper. “Let’s discuss an idea. An idea to focus federally allocated funds into the Peoria Community Campus. This last year through the efforts of our staff grant writer we were awarded our first ICGBE grant since 2009.”

The Longhouse Community Center

“With the awarding of these community development funds, [they] provide our tribe with the ability to design and build the first stand alone 5,000 square foot facility to be solely designated as a community building for our citizens,” said Harper.

The community center will sit across the street from the old Miami Country Clubhouse and will feature a large common room, a quiet room, a kitchen and mid-sized restrooms.

The Woodland Academy Learning Center

“This last year with the careful joint planning coordination of the peoria tribe’s childcare development fund, known as our CCBF program, our finance department and other federal offices, the plan was created that would allow us to layout and design our first learning center,” said Harper.

The Learning Center will have 13,000 square feet of space that will be utilized as a daycare, including two infant rooms, two toddler rooms, a pre-kindergarten room, a school-age room and a large multi-purpose room. The center will also have a dining room and two large play areas.

The center will be used “to mentor this and future generations,” according to Harper.

“This last year our staff began grooming these grounds, the former home of the Miami Country Club. In this last year our staff began the process of remediation of what was formerly the clubhouse that still presides here as a reminder of the former glory of this property here in this community,” said Harper.

The old clubhouse will not be torn down; it will be ‘transformed and reequipped’ into a 6,000 square foot education center.

“Through a careful master planning process this campus will provide a venue for our citizens to gather and grow as a nation. Today we corporately celebrate the transition from idea to reality. Today and always we are Peoria proud,” said Harper.

No date for the completion of the project was given.

History of the property

The tribe has owned the property since at least 2010.

Miami Golf and Country Club — originally called Rockdale Country Club — opened in 1926.

The front nine holes of the course were built in 1929 and the back nine was added in 1988.