Looking Beyond the Site at Girl Scouts Leadership Center
When the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts needed a new home, they sought out a site in Worcester. Centrally located for members, but with steep topography and a high traffic intersection, the site posed design challenges for the engineering team.
The two-story, 7,400-SF Leadership Center provides opportunities for Girl Scouts to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and leadership-building activities, and also warehouses Girl Scout Cookies during peak cookie season. Bohler provided civil engineering and permitting services for the state-of-the-art facility, which features smart boards, a robotics workplace, 3D printers, and computer software to support STEM learning.
Overcoming Steep Topography to Improve Circulation
To bring the Leadership Center to life, Bohler’s design team had to first overcome a significant topographical challenge. A 30-foot grade change across the site made it nearly impossible for site traffic to circulate safely on a steeply sloped driveway.
Bohler devised a creative solution by looking beyond the two-acre site and relocated the site’s access point onto the adjacent lot, which extended the driveway. This prevented driveway slopes from being too steep while also avoiding congestion with a nearby intersection. The solution improved overall site circulation, including accommodating the large trucks delivering cookies.
Creating Opportunities in STEM
As engineers, Bohler recognizes the center’s impact on both the local community and the STEM industry. The $2.5-million center is home to staff/volunteer resources, a store, and a museum, but more importantly provides a place for girls to build courage, confidence, and character. By thinking outside the box and overcoming unique challenges, the design team created an incredible opportunity for the Girl Scouts to be active in their community, broaden their education, and become leaders of the future.
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