District 1 Community Center

District 1 Community Center

Black River Falls, WI

Flexibility and efficiency were top priorities when the Ho-Chunk Native American tribe decided to build a new community center. Moving past the previous community center, which lacked space and cost-effective maintenance, Ho-Chunk Nation requested ISG’s services to design a building that would serve four different community groups: student youth and adults, athletes, and general community members.

Before the new 60,000 square-foot building’s design, public events and activities would oftentimes conflict with youth activity schedules due to limited space. To accurately understand the vision, needs, and culture of the Ho-Chunk Nation, ISG maintained constant collaboration with them throughout planning schematic and construction designs. Updated information and alternative solutions were checked with community leaders to craft plans that accurately reflected Ho-Chunk Nation. A unique need of this project was that each construction phase needed to remain open ended before the subsequent phase began. To meet this challenge, user group meetings with people who own, use, and maintain the proposed community center, such as maintenance staff, security personnel, teachers, and community youth, were integrated into the planning and design process. This line of open communication ensures design plans fulfill community goals and needs and identify the best practices and cost-effective options early on.

To host different groups simultaneously, youth education classrooms and office spaces were separated from areas of the facility primarily dedicated to community activities, such as funerals, sewing classes, and meetings. These areas each have their own commercial grade kitchens, allowing them to entertain large groups of people without coinciding with one another. Separating the groups provides the additional benefit of increased student safety. The community center also includes two gymnasiums, one with a locker room for tournaments, and the other for team practices, to maximize the number of athletes who want to utilize the center. A wellness center with a running track, stationary equipment, and studio space, compliments the gymnasiums, offering places for athletic programs for adults and youth alike. The new building’s maintenance was also cost-effective, designed to feature a horizontal geothermal field and in-floor heating.

ISG’s organization has helped the project remain on schedule with the estimated completion. When the community center has its grand opening, the Ho-Chunk Nation will have a place where everyone can come together and that reflects their growing community.

Civic + Culture

  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church

  • Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society Riverside Regional Pet Shelter

  • Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota

  • East Leach Park Skateboard Park

  • Elmore Public Library

  • Emy Frentz Arts Guild

  • Faribault Soccer Complex

  • Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP)

  • Private: Mankato Family YMCA

  • Monroe County Aquatic Center

  • Riverfront Park

  • Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church

  • St. Peter Community Center

  • Storm Lake Trail

  • The Paradise Center for the Arts

  • Trinity Lutheran Church

  • Veteran’s Memorial Place

  • Wells Depot Museum