Shinnston Community Center Wins AIA WV Award

The Shinnston Community Center in Shinnston WV, has received a design award from the West Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. WYK Associates Inc., designed this 17,500 square foot building as a welcoming hub into the City of Shinnston. It should be completed by the summer of 2015. The importance of the building as a cultural icon and embracing structure into the city are the most exciting characteristics of the building.

As a new construction, the building has been designed fully compliant with ADA requirements and comfort in mind. Further, the buildings architecture uses passive solar design, innovative technology and locally sourced materials to provide optimal natural light and ventilation, and provide a minimal carbon footprint. The Shinnston Community Center entrance tethers around the corners of Main Street and Pike Street in downtown Shinnston, where the former Rice Theater building stood.

This juxtaposition of site forms a unique plaza, with the hopes of providing a welcoming environment to the building’s inhabitants. When you walk over the pavers in the circular “embrace” the pattern replicates a grist mill, reflective of Shinnston’s milling history. Further prevalent historic icons are hidden in the building’s architecture, including the cantilevered shading structure and deck which the architect revealed to be a symbol of strength and resilience for the town that survived the 1944 deadly Shinnston tornado.

Saw-mill blade, shaped semi-circular windows elaborate on the history of continuous mining. In the waiting area, reclaimed chairs from the previous building, the Rice Theater, were preserved and used. The Shinnston Community Center will serve as a performing arts center, a look out for downtown events such as parades, etc. Further, a much needed large banquet hall, accommodating 350 people, will provide the city with much needed gathering space for meetings and community organizations including health programs and other enrichment activities.

There is also a room solely dedicated to the Shinnston Senior Citizens, and another additional meeting room. The upper level of the building serves as the city administration offices and Council Chambers. James B. Swiger, AIA NCARB, LEED AP served as the design architect for the building. WYK Associates, Inc. is a full service architectural firm that has served North Central West Virginia for nearly 40 years. The firm has won numerous design awards and is privileged to be the recipient of this year’s AIA West Virginia Honor Award.