The Gustavus Community Center Board is excited to present the plans for a permanent home for the Center. The building is the critical next step in growing the Center to better serve our community and visitors.
Provide a warm, dry space in order to deliver programs that maintain healthy lifestyles and social bonds throughout the year. 217 days of precipitation a year discourages physical activity and increases the likelihood of social isolation, depression, overeating, and drinking.
Create a high-quality public space for residents and visitors. There have been no new public facilities in Gustavus in at least 15 years, even though Gustavus is one of the fastest growing communities in Southeast Alaska. The town has outgrown its existing social and physical infrastructure. The Center will be one of the most prominent public buildings in our town and its location in the heart of Gustavus can be carefully planned as a public gathering place and managed within a sustainable business structure.
Become a hub for visitor programs and services. The town lacks a strong focal point to inspire the 11,000 visitors who pass through the town to stop and spend time in the community. An inviting community center building has the potential to become a magnet for tourist education and activity. Alaska Geographic and the National Park Service have already recognized this potential and have requested space in the community center building once it is completed.
The building is deliberately designed to facilitate social interaction, improve quality of life and allow for on-site, year ‘round programs out of the elements. The first phase of construction will create a 2,400 sq. ft. multi-purpose program hall capable of seating 200, with a 526 sq ft entrance foyer/gallery with ADA compliant restrooms (currently there are no restrooms or potable water on the site). The building will be equipped with internet, A/V equipment, movable stage, catering kitchen, comfortable seating and views of the mountains and meadows of Southeast Alaska.
The program hall is designed to become a destination venue where the Community Center can present world-class performers on a regular basis, showcase local talent, attract visitors, grow the local economy and put Gustavus on the map culturally as a place where people love to gather and performers love to perform. Movable partitions will make the space configurable so that multiple activities can occur at the same time.
The intimate entrance foyer/gallery is designed to be used as stand-alone space for smaller events and programs, and encourages interaction between people who would otherwise not meet.
A later phase of the project will add a dedicated exercise room, offices, more expansive foyer and gallery, an upgraded heating system and better equipped kitchen.