The grand opening for the new Poarch Creek Community Center took place on Thursday, March 1st.  The $20 million project is a 71,000 square foot multi-purpose facility for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Atmore, Alabama.  This state-of-the-art community center features shared use spaces including an auditorium, dining area, teaching kitchen, dance studio, pottery studio, sewing room, and outdoor areas for teaching and recreation. This project presented an opportunity to help create a building that would become the centerpiece of reservation life – a community ‘hearth’ where their story could be retold and where their traditions could be passed from one generation to the next.  We arrived at an approach that treated the building like a community with a design inspired by the layout of traditional Creek Indian villages – a round Council House (Chakofa) at the center, next to a ceremonial “Square Ground” flanked by community buildings. We were very happy that Tribal members embraced the concept. “This is a place that most of us who grew up at Poarch could have only dreamed of,” said Tribal Chair and CEO Stephanie Bryan. She continued, “In the past 6 years, we have been very blessed to be able to build brick and mortar facilities on our trust lands that offer early childhood education, health care and elder care. I am excited that the PCCC will be a gathering place for youth and for entire families, and we are really excited to open it to our Members and to our neighbors”.