Completed in April of 2018, HJ’s Youth and Community Center houses the activities associated with the family outreach ministries of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. It is the cornerstone of the Church’s “Gather and Grow” mission, a bold philosophy intended to strengthen the congregation by more directly serving families. The program for the facility was developed with a goal of creating a “generous welcome” to the public, from the Church. It includes six different types of interior gathering spaces, including a flexible community room and a small cafe.
Although many of the spaces in the facility support youth-based activities. the design strongly encourages indoor / outdoor connection for all ages. The south-facing terrace, which stretches across the entire building, provides a direct link between the main church building all the way to the iconic Trolley Trail, which stretches 15 miles across Kansas City, connecting many diverse neighborhoods. At the Trail hub, a shaded resting area is provided, including a bike-repair station and water. Trail users are encouraged to access the Community Center, free of charge.
The project included an extensive activities assessment and programming process, leading to a conceptual design, effective fundraising imagery, and promotional material. The process included multiple stakeholder meetings and presentations, drawing together diverse groups with very specific needs. Through active listening and careful documentation, the team was able to satisfy all of the groups, unifying them towards a goal of a flexible, youth, family and community-oriented building.
Dan Maginn was Principal-in-Charge of the project while at DRAW.