On Monday Sept 27, 2021, Ron Hutchcraft Ministries celebrated the groundbreaking of their new “On Eagles’ Wings” Leadership Center. Located on a 75-acre campus in Harrison, Arkansas, the facility is designed to prepare Native American youth to become leaders through life skills, tools for personal growth, and scriptural studies. New Jersey full-service architecture and engineering firm, LAN Associates has been working with the non-profit to provide architecture, interior design, and MEP engineering services for the 20,000-sf project.
As a full-time, live-in facility that mimics a college dormitory, the new center is designed to house up to 35 students who will spend a 6–9 month term in the program, which will be led by Rev. Ron Hutchcraft and his veteran staff.
“One key for us with the “On Eagles’ Wings” Leadership Center has been that it will be a place that fosters community and allows the students to do life together in meaningful ways,” said Brad Hutchcraft, COO of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries. “From the first meeting, we felt LAN understood the heart behind this, which is evident in the designs that have been put together. We are excited for the groundbreaking as it means we will start seeing these incredible designs start to take shape in real life!”
The facility design includes a rustic aesthetic, incorporating natural materials and heavy timber framing throughout the central living areas of the building. The floor plan is organized to take advantage of beautiful views of Pilot Knob Mountain in the Ozarks to the west and welcome in the rising sun to the east.
“Being asked to lead the design of the “On Eagles Wings” Leadership Center was a great opportunity for LAN Associates on many levels,” said LAN Assistant Vice President and lead project architect Matthew Wolfe. “Architecturally it was an opportunity to break out of the densely populated confines of the New York tri-state area and design a facility around breathtaking views and the open natural environment. More than that, it was an opportunity to design with purpose for a non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.”
Designed to foster community and independent life skills, the floor plan is centered around a two-story hearth, creating a warm and central space for gathering and dining. The facility also includes administrative offices and meeting spaces, a series of classrooms, chapel, computer lab, gym, cafe, and other necessary support spaces. Additional outdoor living space is proposed along the backyard for outdoor dining, events, and gardening along with a fire pit for social gatherings. Attached to the facility are two dormitories connected by a covered walkway that offer housing for students.
“On Eagles’ Wings” is the Native American division of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries. For over 29 years, they have served as a leading youth ministry to the Indigenous youth of the United States and Canada. In 1999, LAN Associates provided design services for the ministry’s Arkansas headquarters which has over 30 dedicated employees. The “On Eagles Wings” Leadership Center is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.