The Mertarvik Evacuation Center will be an emergency shelter for residents of Newtok in cases of extreme storm danger. The design and management of the 13,000-square-foot structure was a collaborative effort between the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities funded by a $4 million grant from the Alaska legislature.
The foundation was completed in 2011 by Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc and work on the walls and skeleton resumed in 2018.
The shelter can temporarily accommodate about 300 people in the event of a major flood. When there is enough housing for all residents in Mertarvik, the evacuation center can function as a community multipurpose building.