Career Academy South Bend Recognized for Architecture Innovation

Photo Credit: Hilliard Photographics

[ See Career Academy South Bend in Our Projects Portfolio ]

We’re pleased and proud to note that Career Academy South Bend is featured in the new book Charter School Patterns of Innovation – A New Architecture For a New Education, recently published by Ball State University. Completed as a joint multi-year project of the BSU Office of Charter Schools and BSU Department of Architecture, the publication compiles best practices in school design and programming drawn from 56 different charter school facilities across the nation and in the state of Indiana.

According to Ball State, students conducted case study research on exemplary charter schools and high performance “green” school design to develop ways to incorporate issues of curriculum, funding, facility planning, and sustainable strategies into the overall design of the building. This information was used to develop concepts or “patterns” for incorporating environmentally sustainable strategies into the planning and design of charter school buildings. The data compiled serves as a reference standard for innovative educators and school architects from around the country.

What gives us much pride is not only that CASB was extensively profiled in the publication, but from among the dozens of facilities profiled an image of the school’s interior was used as the cover. “This double recognition is a well-deserved honor for Career Academy South Bend”, says project architect Phil Panzica, “as Panzica’s innovative design is really a testament to the bold vision of the school’s founder-benefactors Larry Garatoni and Steve Hartz, supported by the outstanding school administration and programs established under their leadership.”

CASB’s design was also recognized in 2012 by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Illinois Chapter with a Design Excellence Award for “Best Educational Facility”.  In 2011-12, designing and building on a successful “fast track” schedule, Panzica completed CASB’s conversion from a former credit card statement processing facility into a 110,000 sq. ft. 7-12 charter school and adult vocational center. Notable innovations in this adaptive re-use included great flexibility in arrangement and finish of educational spaces to facilitate a project-based curriculum, abundant day lighting, extensive use of sustainable and recycled materials, and the successful integration of “bonus” spaces into the building program such as a 75-seat presentation auditorium and a regulation-size gymnasium. All work was preformed with prevailing wage labor yet completed at a fraction of the cost of typical public school facilities.