LaSalle Council Boy Scouts of America is pleased to announce Groundbreaking Ceremonies for the Morris â€“ 1st Source Scout Center at 1340 South Bend Avenue next to Parisiâ€™s Restaurant (at the former Sears Service Building site). The gathering will be held on Monday, August 14 th at 9:45 am with a traditional Scout opening Flag Ceremony at 10:00 am.
The new 8,740 square foot development and resource center will serve as a facility for experiential learning to be used by the City of South Bend Elementary Schools as well as the Boy Scouts and other groups. It will have a state-of-the-art leadership training conference center, offices and a full-service Scout Shop.
Funded by the Ernest M. Morris family, 1 st Source Bank and generous Friends of Scouting contributors, this facility is an excellent example of partnership and collaboration. The City of South Bend, The University of Notre Dame and the LaSalle Council, Boy Scouts of America worked together with others, creating a plan to transform an area of land that once was environmentally unsound, into a thriving center for our community. â€œWe look forward to working with the Boy Scouts to bring environmental, science and technology programs to the youth of South Bend and to attract other individuals, foundations, corporations and service clubs to join in building a better, more environmentally conscientious city,â€ commented South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke.
Ginger Smietana, Scout Center Program Committee Chair, is working with the South Bend Elementary School Science Curriculum leadership, the University of Notre Dame and LaSalle Council representatives developing education modules that will enhance the corporationâ€™s teaching objectives. These modules will also help LaSalle Council staff and volunteers enrich training for area Scouts when modified for their programs.
This project is so unique in its concept and execution, that it has drawn a great deal of attention and support from the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas. Robby Reid, Senior Project Architect for Boy Scouts of Americaâ€™s national office, has worked to coordinate elements of the facility with Kil Architecture & Planning, the City of South Bend and The University of Notre Dame. â€œItâ€™s really a unique experience to see the collaboration between each entity for the common good of the Scouting program and the city itself. Because the area has been reclaimed as a useful property, weâ€™ve kept the environmentally friendly theme throughout the architecture and design,â€ says Reid. Passive solar energy techniques were incorporated and recycled materials were used in the design whenever possible.
â€œThe Scout Center is something weâ€™ve been envisioning for several years. It is designed to be a facility that will serve the Scouting program and citizens of our community for the next 50 years. The adjacent Fredrickson Park adds a beautiful nature preserve for enjoyment and unique education opportunities. Together, they will enhance learning with a fun environment for students and Scouts in this area,â€ says Pat Bridges, LaSalle Council Scout Executive & CEO.
The LaSalle Council serves over 15,000 youth throughout an 8 county region. This tremendous feat is accomplished with 3,000 volunteers and more than 300 Charter Partners. The Morris – 1 st Source Scout Center is a 1.5 million dollar project, and part of the LaSalle Councilâ€™s â€œTrailblazing for Tomorrow â€“ Investing In Values Todayâ€ Capital Campaign. Opportunities are still available for those wishing to donate funds directly or recognize others with an honorarium, by contacting Pat Bridges at: 574-289-0337.