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First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City Wins National Build America Award

Photo courtesy of David McNeese Stills + Motion Photography
Photo courtesy of David McNeese Stills + Motion Photography
Photo courtesy of David McNeese Stills + Motion Photography
Photo courtesy of David McNeese Stills + Motion Photography
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Manhattan Construction Company announces that Centennial Builders, a partnership between Manhattan Construction Company and Flintco, LLC, was awarded the Associated General Contractors of America’s Construction Risk Partners Build America Merit Award for Building New ($76-$125 Million) for the First Americans Museum (FAM) in Oklahoma City.

The Build America Awards honors AGC members who build the nation’s most impressive construction projects within multiple categories. The winners excel in advancement, innovation, safety, client services, and environmental sensitivity. AGC represents more than 27,000 firms and 10,000 service providers and suppliers through a nationwide network of chapters.

Completed in December 2020, the 125,000-square-foot FAM includes a rising spiral mound molded from 500,000 cubic yards and reaches 90 feet tall at its peak. The $125 million museum is home to the shared history of art, architecture, multi-media experiences, and events for Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations.

The museum building includes gallery spaces, a museum store, a restaurant, a theater, meeting and administration spaces, classrooms, courtyards, and a 110-foot-tall glass dome named Hall of The People.

There are four galleries:

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  • The Community Gallery is a 900-square-foot exhibition that features the “Blueprints and Footprints” which showcases works of local Native artists, student groups, and current topic exhibitions.
  • The Tribal Nations Gallery is 18,000 square feet and tells collective stories of the removal of tribes from their homeland — an area providing a chronological timeline that addresses events and thematically organized stories of Indian people in first-person accounts.
  • The Mezzanine Gallery is housed within the Smithsonian gallery. The 7,500-square-foot exhibition features more than 100 native artifacts. Strict Smithsonian design and construction standards are incorporated into the gallery, including the HVAC controls, lighting controls, and waterproofing.
  • The Convergence Gallery is a 7,500-square-foot space that will accommodate traveling exhibits with the latest lighting, security, and interactivity technology.

Along with technology upgrades, the museum features a 200-seat FAM Theater to host a wide variety of community activities and live performances.

The theater is equipped to accommodate many events with high-end lighting, audio, and video technology. The facility also includes an Xchange Theater adjacent to the cafe, restaurant, and gift store, which seats approximately 75 people, an ideal orientation space for school groups, community gatherings, live demonstrations, performances, and presentations.

“The people of the various tribes involved in the project, whether on the Board of Directors or members of tribal communities, showed an incredible amount of determination and resiliency to drive the project to a successful completion,” said Chris Pribil, Project Director with Manhattan Construction.

The project’s design team included Johnson Fain, Hornbeek Blatt, Parkhill/Cardinal Engineering, Nabih Youssef, Stantec, and Hargreaves Associates.

Since its completion, FAM has received numerous industry honors, including the 2021 Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Excellence in Construction Eagle Award and the 2021 AGCOK Build Oklahoma Best of the Best award.

This award was presented to the team at the AGC annual convention at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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