2 November, 2011 | Community Outreach

Christian Academy for Boys: A Plan

Recently one of our designers, Carly Pumphrey, and our beloved former intern CJ Pennington spent some time developing a schematic master plan for Kensington Park, a site at 29th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. Here’s the site:

The Urban Scholastic Center (USC) is planning to build a campus for the Christian Academy for Boys on this site, and Chuck Alan, founder and executive director of the organization, asked if we could create a presentation for him to share at a golf tournament held on Sept. 24. The golf tournament, an annual event, will be the main fundraising vehicle for the Academy, although Chuck and his staff are also seeking grant funding. Classes will start in the organization’s current facilities in the fall of 2012, no matter the status of funding for the new facility.

The vision for CAB was inspired by some of the best private schools in Kansas City. The goal is to create a college preparatory school to help male students and their families (and ultimately the community) become aware of possibilities beyond what is expected within the prevailing culture. In light of the high percentage of fatherless homes in the area,  Chuck (a Wyandotte-county native) and the staff at the USC believe that working on the expectations and goals that young boys have for themselves will eventually transform the entire community.

If this point isn’t clear by now, the vision for the CAB includes the broader community. The master plan we helped create includes a Community Arts Building, so students and community members can be exposed to (and hopefully learn to appreciate and love) a wide range of music, theater and arts (there is almost no arts/music presence in the area now); a Cafeteria/Multi-Purpose building for use by both the Academy and the community; a central courtyard and lots of green space with trees and benches for students to experience a college-like campus and have a safe place to gather and retreat; unassigned land for future growth; and tennis courts (as opposed to a football stadium) to help students imagine new paths to a successful future.

Notice in our proposed master plan (below) at the heart of the campus is an existing gym.  The plan is to transform the gym into the school’s library, again, to be utilized by both students and the community, and to symbolize a broader shift in focus, which ultimately is what the CAB is trying to achieve.