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Elk Grove Village, Ill. — The recently opened Vinita Health Center is a sparkling addition to the Cherokee Nation Health System, the largest tribally owned health care system in the United States.
The architecture of the 92,000-square-foot facility in Vinita, Okla., reflects Cherokee history and employs construction materials commonly used during and after the Civil War, an important era in the Cherokee Nation.
“The concept for the Vinita Center started with the idea that architecture should be familiar to the local population,” said Breck Childers, project architect, Childers Architects, Fort Smith, Ark. “At the same time, it should reflect the culture and values of the people it serves.”
The design particularly references an important time frame in Cherokee Nation history when Cherokees fought in both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. The Vinita Health Center is adorned with original Cherokee art and lithographs depicting events during that period and how they affected members of the Cherokee Nation. Two significant battles were fought at nearby Cabin Creek, pitting Cherokees against Cherokees. After the war, the 1861-1880 time frame became known as a time of “Fighting and Healing” when Cherokee Nation brought about reconciliation.
“The design was truly inspired by the ‘Fighting and Healing’ era,” Childers said. “The structures of that time frame relied heavily on wood and stone construction materials. We added the metal roof because of its durability and the desire to be consistent with the standing seam roofs generally used on most other Cherokee Nation buildings.”
The facility is the system’s second largest center and replaces a previous 4,000-square-foot clinic. The new center is located on a 23-acre site and offers a complete range of comprehensive medical care. About 43,500 square feet of PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad panels was installed on the structure’s roof. The 22 gauge, 12-inch-wide panels were finished in Petersen Aluminum’s Cool Color Granite and fabricated at the company’s Tyler, Texas, plant.
The PAC-CLAD Granite color differs from the customary dark green color used on most other Cherokee Nation buildings. “We selected the lighter PAC-CLAD color to help us go after LEED Silver Certification,” Childers said. LEED Silver certification is in progress.
Other sustainable features contributing to the LEED status include locally sourced materials, natural daylighting, low-flow fixtures, energy-efficient lighting, and drought-tolerant landscaping.
Harness Roofing, in Tulsa, Okla., installed the panels. “There was a lot of complicated detailing on the job,” said Harness branch manager Jason Irvin. “We field-fabricated a complex gutter design including custom downspouts and an internal gutter system on a major part of the building. The architect was very involved in the design and installation.”
Petersen Aluminum also offers metal wall panels including exposed fastener panels, flush panels, composite wall panels, and column covers. All are available in PAC-CLAD full 70 percent PVDF finish in 38 standard colors on steel and 37 on aluminum. Most colors meet LEED, Energy Star, and Cool Roof Rating Council certification requirements.
For more information, visit pac-clad.com.