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AISU Health Center

Metlakatla, Alaska
A 32,000 square foot full service health facility in the small community of Metlakatla. The facility includes a primary care clinic, an emergency room with 24 hour access, dental operatory, behavioral health counseling center, physical therapy, pharmacy and administrative spaces. The building was designed for economical operations, something increasingly important in rural Alaska. There are two wings separated by a large lobby. The two-story office wing includes the business office and administrative functions along with physical and behavioral health. The medical wing includes all of the functions that require extensive mechanical and electrical systems. This configuration saved construction costs as more intensive medically related mechanical systems serve a smaller area. A unique project challenge were federally mandated native hire requirements as well as local tribal employment rights standards within the Metlakatla Indian Community. In this small community where unemployment is very high and a lack of skilled labor is problematic it was the design team's task to develop the design utilizing systems, materials and methods that would maximize the opportunity to meet hiring goals for the contractor. The resulting $11,000,000 facility provides the most modern of health care services within a building that is culturally cognizant of the rich history and character of the Tsimshian people it serves.
* Photos by Ken Graham


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