Written by Mike Swofford Sunday, 09 January 2011 18:58
|The Scout Achievement Center Story|
|Building the Vision|
|Branding and Design|
|Technology and Green Operations|
|Excitement, Moving, and Opening|
|A Few Last Things and Grand Opening|
Although the physical construction of the building was the most visible progress of the project, their was entire world of planning and work being done behind the scenes. In the end, this work was just as important and visually impressive as the building itself. The Scout Achievement Center, as determined by the volunteer feedback, should represent and look like Scouting; it had to visually inspire achievements and highlight the great programs and activities that Scouting offered. An extensive branding plan was developed -- taking ideas from across the board and utilizing the creativity of BHDP architecture, DSD Designs, Luken Construction, and several other contracted designers, many unique and beautiful graphic design elements were imagined and created.
The main lobby area was envisioned as a shrine to the diverse opportunities of Scouting programs. The designers wanted a "Wow!" factor that would immediately inspire visitors. Included was the Scout Tower, which was first imagined as a signal tower, then a lookout tower. Wanting to show off the Dan Beard Council camps and the National High Adventure Bases, the idea of panels of photos and information became giant murals that stretch floor to ceiling. Artifacts from each camp were collected and placed in in wall cutouts. A what-if idea of a Pinewood Derby track available for Cub Scouts to try out their car projects was realized as a real track permanently installed in the lobby wall. The functional needs of the lobby were married to their form -- the reception desk was designed to appear as part of the tower, but could be unlatched and rolled away for event space; information kiosks added to the graphic element of the room while housing flyers and forms; the camp mural walls doubled as information and promotion centers.
The Cub Den, originally the "Cub Scout Room," was envisioned as a space for new Cub Scout dens to come and have their first den meeting. What followed was an outdoor, unfinished look intended to be an okay place for young boys to be a little rambunctious and work on handicraft projects.
The Marge Schott Conference Room was designed to celebrate the passion of the late Marge Schott for Scouting and her foundation's enormous support of the SAC project. Pictures of Marge Schott and her involvement in Scouting, including Camp Friedlander's Lake Marge Schott, remind us of her commitment and generosity.
The Reverent Room was a unique and challenging design. While intended to be a spiritual space without being overtly religious, it was envisioned as a an inspiring room to recognize a Scout's duty to God and provide a place for reflection. Accomplishing this through color choices, wall decor, and furnishing proved to be one of the greatest design elements of the project, and many redesigns were done, including a stone and wood style chapel, various stained-glass window choices, and at one point, a Norman Rockwell art theme. The final design of the room incorporates many of these original ideas with subtle lighting, comfortable furniture and a collection of Scouting religious awards from a variety of denominations.
The Baker Activity Center was designed as a spacious, yet comfortable room for large meetings and events. Awash with natural lighting from the large windows that surround the room, it is accented by a stone fireplace and an inspiring eagle wood sculpture carved by longtime Scouter, Frank Borke. This room includes a thank you to the many volunteers that are the core of the Scouting program and various pictures of volunteers in action.
The hallways and other small spaces of the building were each given similar treatment, each with its own touch or theme. The main corridor was a massive project in itself, designed as a parade of Scouting history, various parts of the Scouting program, and the people that make it happen. Editions of the Scouting Handbook, reaching back to the founding of the program were collected and encased in the wall, and photos of Dan Beard, James E. West, and other founders tell the Scouting amazing story. Historical photos, news articles, and magazine covers are sprinkled through the huddle rooms and walls -- nearly every foot of wall space gives tells a different story and can keep a visitor busy for hours as they take it all in!