MHA Powwow Shelter


Parshall, ND





Construction Materials Testing & Inspection

Land Development

Landscape Architecture

Project Management & Construction Administration

On March 31, 2021, the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (MHA) contacted WSB to coordinate and construct a project for the grounds and structure where they hold powwows. The group was set to hold their annual powwow, a sacred and traditional community gathering, in two months, but their existing structure had storm damage and was severely overgrown due to the lack of use during the pandemic.

WSB provided coordination, construction project management, client representation and site considerations on the project. Architecture, planning and engineering firm TSP designed the structure and Silver Fox served as the contractor. The project required close coordination, collaboration and buy-in from all parties which included WSB, TSP, Silver Fox, Mervin Packineau and three affiliated tribe council members from the Northeast segment to meet the hard deadline. Staff members worked around the clock – up to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week – to make sure the powwow structure and grounds were operational and ready to go by June 23.

The eight-week turn around for this project required creative problem solving. The usual shipping methods for materials were impacted by the pandemic, presenting significant challenges for the project’s tight timeline. The team utilized hot shot trucking companies, normally used in the oil industry to bring steel and materials up from Texas. The trucks were available on a moment’s notice and delivered within the day. Thinking outside the box and utilizing hot shot delivery allowed the project to stay on schedule.

Another challenge the project faced was finding a large quantity of turf quickly. The team found a turf company in Arizona that had a last-minute order cancelation and hot shot trucks delivered the turf quickly. The entire process took less than a day and a half from ordering, to delivery and installation.

With such a tight project deadline, the team was still putting staples in the ground up to the moment members began showing up to the powwow. The entire project took just weeks from the initial meeting, with 3 weeks of design, 1 week of bidding and 6 weeks to build. Solutions-based thinking, collaboration and teamwork helped deliver this important project on time. The community and council members were thrilled with the final product. The MHA now has a sheltered, modern place to gather.

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