Forest County Potawatomi
Ramlow/Stein and RDG
Located in a wooded parcel at the intersection of Mish Ko Swen Drive and Fire Keeper’s Lane near Highway 8 in Crandon, the Forest County Potawatomi Community Center will be a hub for cultural education, recreation, athletic training, competition, wellness and social events for the Community. The design of the building was informed by the Forest County Potawatomi culture, from the two levels that follow the natural grade and lessen the impact on the land to the basic floorplan which takes its inspiration from the form of an eagle in flight.
Athletic venues include a 20,000 square-foot wood court gymnasium and a 20,000 square-foot fieldhouse with synthetic field turf. The gym will serve as a training and competition venue for court sports, with seating for up to 1500 spectators. It will also be a central venue for Tribal events such as pow-wows and banquets. The fieldhouse will serve as an additional performance venue and provide year-round indoor practice and competition space with a 110-yard jogging track elevated above.
An 8000 square-foot recreation and training pool will reside between the gym and fieldhouse and feature six 25-yard lap lanes as well as activity basins including a zero-depth entry play area, slide, water exercise area and separate spa. Completing the athletics and wellness program areas will be a fitness center, climbing wall, and multiple studio rooms.
Educational and support spaces include a classroom, fab lab, woodshop, teaching kitchen, game room and pediatric therapy suite. A child care suite provides parents a venue for their children while they take advantage of the programs and activities. In the heart of the building will be a two-story common space that connects all areas and creates a social touchstone for the community. It will serve as a center for community gatherings and pow-wows complemented by an adjacent commercial kitchen facility. An area for checking out outdoor equipment such as kayaks and snowshoes will be accessed from inside and outside the building. An office suite with consult rooms on the upper level will serve program staff and individuals seeking to get started on a fitness program.
“Hopefully one day this building will be used as our community school. We want to continue to teach our children our traditional values, our language and the stuff that's being lost right now.”
– Nick Shepard, Forest County Potawatomi Tribe Council Member
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