On July13, a Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community groundbreaking ceremony was held for the anticipated Way of Life Center, which will be located on the southeast corner of Indian School Road and Center Street.
The two-story facility will sit on 14.3 acres and cater to recreational actives for Community youth, adults and seniors. It will house an indoor swimming pool, three indoor basketball courts, a fitness center, indoor walking track and more (see sidebar). The project will take about 18 months to finish.
The morning started off with a blessing from Tribal Council member Tom Largo, Sr. and a formal welcoming by SRPMIC President Delbert Ray, Sr. and Vice-President Martin Harvier.
“It’s exciting to see the project is underway. I remember when this area was talked about as being a center for the youth back in 2006,” Harvier said. “We wanted something for the youth of the neighborhoods around here, somewhere for them to attend and not have to travel too far.”
Ray talked about it being a dream and never imagining a facility such as this would ever be built and meet the needs of the Community.
“I’m very grateful for where we are at as a Community,” Ray said. “Everything is timed—this has to happen before this happens—everyone is so tuned into time, and everyone wants to know when it’s going to happen. I want to thank every single person who is involved in this. We are going to have the senior component along with the youth, and it will meet our needs.”
Kevin Bollinger of Bollinger Consulting Architects in Phoenix discussed the project and shared how he has been involved with planning the center for 10 years.
“It has been a long path, and I am glad we are here,” Bollinger said.
David Dallas, a Community member and president of Maydall Construction, is also part of the project. Dallas thanked the companies who are involved in the project, along with the SRPMIC Engineering and Construction Services Department.
“There is a great pride [in] building for your own community. We also want to reach out to as many members [as possible] to be a part of this project and help us build this much-needed facility,” Dallas said.
After the speakers, the Turning of the Ground ceremony took place with participation from the SRPMIC Tribal Council; staff from Bollinger Consulting Architects and MayDall Construction; staff from the SRPMIC Recreation, Senior Services and Youth Services departments; and representatives of the SRPMIC Diabetes Services Program and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, along with several youth from the Community who were present during the ceremony.
After the groundbreaking ceremony, everyone socialized and reviewed the renderings of the future building that were provided by the architects.
“I can’t wait for the skate park to be built,” said Truman “Sonny” Enos, who woke up early and rode his skateboard to the site to take part in the groundbreaking. Enos lives in the Red Mountain Vista neighborhood.