This 35,000-sq-ft, $8.8-million multigenerational community center on the Gila River Community includes a fitness center with a gymnasium, elevated running track, weight room, education spaces, activity rooms, gathering spaces and administrative offices. Hashen Kehk, which means “standing cactus,” inspired many elements of project design and is also the name of one of the districts within the community.

Late in the design process, the budget was cut by roughly 17%, resulting in design modifications. In response, the construction team and subcontractors identified several options to cut costs.

Arviso/Okland and subcontractor Jones Concrete Co. suggested altering the walls from cast-in-place to tilt-up concrete. To maintain the walls’ aesthetic characteristics, one side was board formed and the other stamped. After verifying with the design team that the tilt-up walls would not only be structurally sound but also not compromise the aesthetic characteristics, the switch was implemented.

The exterior skin, originally designed to use composite plate cladding throughout, was also modified to meet the reduced budget. Subcontractor Kovack suggested traditional aluminium composite material panels at locations where the walls were not curved.

“By maintaining the same dimensions and gaps between, we were able to pull this off,” says Stacia Ledesma of Orcutt | Winslow.

The construction team also found cost and building solutions emanating from acoustical ceiling subcontractor TP Acoustics. The firm proposed selecting a box series metal panels ceiling by Hunter Douglas ILO over the specified linear wood ceiling to eliminate a warranty issue with the portions of the ceiling located on the exterior.

Ledesma says concerns about maintaining the real wood look at the ends where the lights come through were resolved after TP Acoustics put together mock-ups, met with the design team and worked with the electrical subcontractor. The result is a ceiling that looks like real wood but will last significantly longer, according to Arviso/Okland.

Despite the late-stage changes, the project was finished on schedule in September 2014 and at budget.

The project team experienced no OSHA recordable safety incidents. Arviso/Okland credits its focus on hazard recognition, methods of hazard avoidance and implementation of corrective action as reasons for the successful safety record.

The firm also extends its educational elements for zero accidents by including subcontractors in their Advanced Safety Training, which include OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour classes and successful incorporation of job hazard analysis and pre-task planning reports in the daily work flow.

Hashen Kehk Community Center


Key Players
Gila River Tribal Projects
Lead Design Firm Orcutt | Winslow
General Contractor Arviso/Okland
Structural Engineering Pimara Paul Koehler
Civil Engineering Wood, Patel & Associates
MEP Engineering  MSA Engineering Consultants
Landscaping Design J2 Engineering and Environmental Design
Food Service Design Landmark Kitchen Design
Subcontractors Jones Concrete Co., Milling Machinery, European Techniques, Kovach, Star Roofing, Mirror Works, Apodaca, Olympic West Fire Protection, Midstate Mechanical, Universal Piping, Specified Electrical Contractors, Ace Asphalt