PGAV Partners on a Century of Science

Congratulations to Benedictine College as it celebrates a Century of Science this year. As it looks to the next 100 years, the College is building on its history of excellence in science education and has embarked on a comprehensive renovation and expansion of Westerman Hall, the long-time home to its science programs.

PGAV is the Design Architect for the $25M project which broke ground last fall and dramatically transforms the 1960’s era building into a state-of-the-art science learning center. The building program includes teaching, research and student space for the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy, and Engineering. The plan includes new and upgraded project labs, offices and collaboration spaces to provide student centered spaces focused on team based learning and “hands on” education.  

Dynamic DNA Featured in Springfield News-Leader

Dynamic DNA’s state-of-the-art facility in Springfield, Missouri houses unique and exciting programs including grant funded genetic research, fee based genetic reporting, as well as a Scientific Art Gallery displaying original artwork created by the company’s founder, Austin O’Reilly. In a highly collaborative process, PGAV worked with the client to bring his unique vision of a multi-faceted ‘scientific studio’ to reality.

The Springfield News-Leader recently featured Dynamic DNA and Austin O'Reilly about their advanced molecular testing. You can read the News-Leader story here.

Lenexa Public Market Businesses Announced

Lenexa has selected the first five tenants to anchor the Lenexa Public Market, which is slated to open in mid-summer 2017. The 11,000-square-foot food hall and market is under construction at 87th Street Parkway and Penrose Lane in the Lenexa City Center area west of I-435. The owner-operated businesses are a mix of new and experienced local entrepreneurs. Some are expanding existing businesses and others are experimenting with new concepts.

You can read more about the Lenexa Public Market by clicking here.

 

Blue Valley Recreation at Hilltop Opens

The Blue Valley Recreation Center is a new state of the art facility designed to serve families and baby boomers in the Overland Park community. The driving priorities and principles behind the design are flexibility of use, overall value, and delivering a facility that will be cost effective to operate and maintain – delivering long term value for the owner over time.

Synthetic flooring choices deliver excellent sports performance while offering the flexibility to support various assembly uses including day camps, public and private expos and large special events. An elevated run/walk track around the gymnasium provides additional indoor exercise opportunities. Multi-purpose rooms ranging from 1,000 SF to 1,800 SF are programmed to accommodate dance, fitness, yoga, coaches meetings, arts, crafts, banquets, wedding receptions, birthday parties, community meetings, bingo, special events and seminars.

For more information about memberships, click here.

A Million Congratulations

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For the first time in the Kansas City Zoo's history, dating back to 1909, one million visitors passed through the gates in a single season. PGAV Architects is proud to have had a part in the many improvements over the past decade the Zoo has embarked upon including Polar Bear Passage, sea lion improvements, Tuxedo Grill and most recently the koala exhibit. Congratulations and let's keep the growth going.

 

The Butterfly Effect

What happens when a Kansas neighborhood rallies to build a garden? 

Michelle Gangel (third from right) with her daughter and neighbors creating the butterfly garden.

Michelle Gangel (third from right) with her daughter and neighbors creating the butterfly garden.

By Michelle Gangel
Vice President of PGAV

Starting this summer, 9 volunteers met with the goal of creating a butterfly habitat. Identifying the two runoff areas adjacent to the pond in conjunction with the city storm water engineer was the first step.

During our planning sessions, we procured cardboard, organic soil & mulch, confirmed our plant selection and drafted the plan, determined a maintenance plan, ordered the plants, and secured the volunteers.

In one weekend, we had 36 enthusiastic volunteers ages 5 to 70 work over 20 hours to install the two gardens!  These hard-working folks pinned down 1690 sq. ft. of cardboard to provide the base, shoveled 21 cubic yards of soil and laid out 112 linear feet of hay mat to prevent erosion.

Then came the cool stuff! On top of the cardboard and soil, we planted 347 individual native perennial plants comprised of 33 distinct plant varieties.  And finally, we covered it all with 15.5 cubic yards of mulch.  The last step was to soak it all thoroughly, although, once the plants are established, they will need little or no water – even during the hottest August droughts!

These plants are all native to Kansas and have developed naturally with our native insects and birds to meet their needs.  While each plant variety will only be in bloom for a few weeks, the plant list was selected so that the gardens will have lots of blooms throughout the growing season – from March through November. 

Our garden provides host plants such as four varieties of milkweeds for Monarch butterflies to lay their eggs and for their caterpillars to eat.  The garden provides nectar to feed the adult butterflies as well as moths and hummingbirds.  The winter gardens will be left standing even after the plants die back and will provide bird seed, shelter, and nesting cover for wildlife that overwinters in our area.

The populations of all insects and birds are in steep decline in the U.S. – some up to 90% reduction from their populations 30-40 years ago.  Our chemical-free gardens will help give these populations a boost, along with the efforts of other projects such as the I-35 Pollinator Corridor , a 1588-mile-long highway area from Duluth, Minnesota to Laredo, Texas and the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge http://millionpollinatorgardens.org.

This garden will send cleansed water to our pond and downstream stormwater rivers after filtering out chemicals from our lawns, roofs, and driveways.  The native plants’ deep roots slow down the flow of water during a big rainstorm and absorb chemicals directly into the plants. 

With that, our garden is ready to welcome butterflies! In fact, our butterfly gardens are officially “Monarch Waystation #14822” with Monarch Watch www.MonarchWatch.org whose mission is to create, conserve, and protect Monarch Butterfly habitats.