Staying connected and building community are central to the culture of the Gila River Indian Community in Sacaton, Arizona. The recently built 48,577-square-foot Gila River Indian Community District 3 multipurpose building gives the community an opportunity to express its values and gather in a central location. Curves, reflecting the spatial elements of time, life and wellness, were created with Flex-C Trac from Flex-Ability Concepts. The design team says curves’ organic nature and response to cultural influences were a natural fit for this project.

“The facility, designed as nine concentric circles tied to the Tree of Life, flows around the concept of having community members participate directly and interact with each other, encouraging storytelling, communication and interaction through activities and learning, a place to learn about mind and body wellness, addressing the cultural values of the Gila River Indian community,” the architects said in a statement. The design architect was Carlos A. Murrieta, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, NOMA, co-founder/principal of Merge Architectural Group in Phoenix, and the architect of record was Travis Irvine, NCARB, LEED AP, from ID Studio in Phoenix.

The drywall and framing installer was Design Drywall West Inc. from Tempe, Arizona. The crew installed: 29 pieces of 18-gauge 6-inch, 125 pieces of 16-gauge 6-inch and 27 pieces of 20-gauge 6-inch Flex-C Trac. L & W Supply in El Paso, Texas, was the distributor. Flex-C Trac was installed near the center of the building and was chosen for its ability to adapt to the tight curves of the design.

Photo courtesy of X3 Photography

The Design Drywall West crew turned to Flex-Ability Concepts’ products to create curves with labor and material cost savings. While they are skilled at creating curves with conventional materials, with Flex-C Trac, the installers can curve the track by hand. Flex-C Trac also has Hammer-Lock tabs that are hammered into place to embed them into the web and secure the shape of the products. For added strength, self-tapping screws can be embedded into the side of Flex-C Trac.

The center’s grand opening took place this spring. The building features administration services, community hall functions, a gymnasium, main kitchen to serve the community for social functions, separate elder’s kitchen and dining room to serve the community elders, and additional spaces for the elders. The building also has an outdoor pool with a separate restroom/locker building.

“The D3 multipurpose center is the last service center to be constructed within the Gila River Indian Community and is expected to increase the standard of living for its tribal members, allowing for enhanced services and accommodations for all age groups, especially tribal elders,” says Benny Dixson, senior project manager for the Gila River Indian Community. “The goal of the new building is to increase participation in services regarding programs for health and education improvement, along with typical service center community responsibilities.”