District 3 Multipurpose Building Grand Opening
July 15, 2022
Dozens of Community members attended the much-awaited grand opening on July 2 of the new District 3 Multipurpose building, a 52,000-square-foot structure designed around O’otham ancestry and beliefs. The unveiling included food and live entertainment.
The building features various sections for different Community uses, including health and wellness needs, recreation and Community service assistance. It houses a fitness center, gymnasium, and a room to provide elders with a wide range of activities such as meals, crafts and chair volleyball.
The event opened with a welcome by Marcella Ortega, who introduced the color guards, and a welcoming prayer by 2022-23 Miss Gila River Kelsey Martinez. Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis provided welcome remarks as well.
“This [center] is going to be a beautiful amenity, a beautiful gathering place for our elders and our youth,” Gov. Lewis said. “The last two-and-a-half years have been so hard on us. We’ve lost loved ones and gone through much adversity, but we’re coming out strong.”
Gov. Lewis then acknowledged the group of individuals who helped with the process of completing the building after years of planning. They included District 3 Community Council Representative Avery White, District 3 Community Council Representative Rodney Jackson, Sherwin Whitman, Richard Thompson, Karen White, Carolyn Williams, Myron Schurz, Dale Enos, Eugene Blackwater and Christina Morago.
Later, Ira H. Hayes American Legion Post 84 member Tony McDaniels gifted a roadrunner wood carving to the new center as part of the morning’s program.
‘Today, we have a piece of that oak tree from the old service center, that is representing the old that is going out on that, on this tree,” said McDaniels. “For those who know the roadrunner when he’s young: his tail is all black. But as he gets older, the tips of his tail turn white. So, I want you to know that this is a young roadrunner representing the new service center.”
District 3 staff and volunteers gave tours to groups of 15 people to keep everyone safe and follow COVID-19 precaution guidelines.