Mad River Union
McKINLEYVILLE – The Big Lagoon Rancheria is preparing to break ground on a new administrative building in McKinleyville early next year, with a proposed 27,000 square-foot health club also in the works. The projects, which are being built by Wells Construction of Roseville, will be located at 1579 Betty Court, across from the Mill Creek Cinema.
The approximately 6,700 square-foot, two-story administrative building will house Two Feathers Native American Services, a tribally chartered entity of the Rancheria which provides services to Native American families, women, and children facing abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
According to Tribal Chairman Virgil Moorehead, Two Feathers will occupy half of the new building with the other half still to be determined. The project, which is being partially funded with USDA Rural Development grant assistance, will include office space, meeting rooms, and a kitchen. Construction is set to begin in February of 2014 and should take about six to seven months to complete.
The proposed health club would also be a two-story building featuring an indoor pool and spa, juice bar, saunas and steam rooms, massage rooms, a party area, and a daycare area. In addition to free weights and exercise equipment, the facility would have rooms for group exercise, spinning classes, and pilates. “It will be a full-service health club,” says Moorehead. The parcel will also have a large parking area.
The project has been in the planning phase since at least November 2010, when the Rancheria obtained a building permit from the county for the location, but Moorehead said the recession put the plans temporarily on hold. “This has been a priority for a long time,” he said. “Now we’re pretty close, we believe.”
According to Moorehead, feasibility studies commissioned by the Rancheria have indicated a health club would be successful at the Betty Ct. location. “We think there’s a strong market there,” he said.
The Rancheria has obtained a loan agreement from the US Small Business Administration for up to 30 percent of the cost, according to Moorehead, and a financing agreement with a local bank is being sought for the remainder of the funds.
The Small Business Administration’s CDC/504 Loan Program provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment and real estate.
Moorehead says the idea of a health club meshes with the needs of the community and the priorities of the Rancheria. “We value health and a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
The Big Lagoon Rancheria is a federally recognized tribe of Yurok and Tolowa Indians that own 20 acres adjacent to Big Lagoon. The Rancheria also owns the Hotel Arcata.