Problem Statement & Goals and Objectives

Problem Statement

The aim for the new location of the Charleston Community Center Building is to unify the community by creating an atmosphere that is consistent with the ideals and character of the existing site and is efficiently integrated within the fabric of the city. To also, purvey amenities and personnel that suit the needs of the community and better the overall social, economic, and physical state. Furthermore, to establish a welcoming environment, which provokes community involvement and demonstrates a high level of comradery. Also, determine and follow a budget in an effort to obtain the most economical standards of operation. Finally, to relate to the core values of the community and enhance the overall well being of the citizens by providing an outlet for expression, exercise, and involvement.

Organizational Goals

Provide a space that all community members can utilize, there by increases individual self esteem and community involvement.


1.     Place the facility within a short distance to other amenities, subsequently increasing community member involvement and interaction. Mr. Leal, the executive director of Jubilee Park, explained that the center’s strategically dispersed location in the community brought people together and made the center a distinct part of the neighborhood.

2.     Develop an atmosphere that intrigues community members to spend time bettering themselves and cultivating relationships within the center. Community is a group that is bound together by a shared identity, common culture, and social cohesion. The bond harnesses a sense of belonging, a way of life, and diversity with a common purpose (Porterfield and Hall, 2001, p. 9).

3.     Offer classes, activities, and groups that appeal to all demographics and bring about a sense of accomplishment. Kiser explains that community centers may provide an outlet for healthy growth and development for citizens by providing activities to participate in and expectations to meet (Kiser, 2007).

4.     Create cross cutting programs in which people of different ages and demographics work together. A community garden, such as the one at Jubilee Park, could cultivate interaction. Association with others in one’s neighborhood affirms modularity, collaboration, empathy, and helps form a holistic community. Kwok-bong (2009) explains that collective interaction and dialogues within the community aid in all other divisions in a community (pp. 55-55).

Foster regional collaboration among the community and be a catalyst for action though collaboration and teamwork.


1.     Provide programming that exemplifies philanthropic actions and local involvement. Accourding to Mannarini, Fedi, and Trippetti, a 2010 study concluded that a sense of belonging and social participation benefits psychological and social satisfaction.

2.     Place attachment is descried by Altman and Low (1992) as the environmental setting to which people are emotionally or culturally attached. Maintaining attachment to one’s culture contributes to self-distinction and integrity (pp. 4-5). Establishing a strong sense of place within the center by using a logo and symbolic colors throughout the interior reminds users of the initiative of the center.

Functional Goals

Create a functional space in which users can easily navigate and utilize the space to its full advantage.

1.     Those who may use the facility will be grouped together to provide order and flow to the space. Organizing the spaces according to activity type, based on the degree of privacy, sound created, and need for space would facilitate the goal. In addition, arranging the most used spaces closest to the entries, while also providing ample circulation space and opportunity for signage would increase the functionality of the space. The Jones Center uses signage and map kiosks to help direct users through the building.

2.     Use signage and color to encourage exploration and understanding of one’s location within the building. “When well designed and appropriately placed, graphic elements can enhance an interior aesthetically” (Pile, 2007, p. 452)

3.     Pile explains that wayfinding can be simplified by numbering rooms, color and graphics on signage, and even by planning for the installation of directories at entrances (p. 455).

Establish a safe and environment in which community members feel comfortable and secure.

1.     In large-scale civic facilities, future security problems can be prevented by planning a clear, simple circulation system that is easy for staff and visitors to understand. Avoid mazes of hallways and hidden corners. Exterior doors should be readily visible ("Facilities standards for," 2010, p. 52)

2.     Video surveillance, audio security alarms, and possibly even a lockdown system would help address security needs (Tucker, 2010, pp. 320-321).

3.    Direct connection to authorities will increase comfort of users and aid in reducing the change for vandalism or crime. Jubilee Park’s neighborhood crime rate when down 67% after exterior and interior surveillance was installed.

Allow form to follow function so that the design encompasses all facets of the community’s needs.
1.     Maintain a functional relationship between private and public space by way of interior acoustically resilient materials. Fabric covered, 2 inch thick panels are the best choice because they absorb some sound at low frequencies. Carpet can positively affect acoustics by lowering reverberation time, echoes, proper distribution of reflections, and low self-noise (Acoustics, 2000).

2.     Design using a lot of open space to encourage special activities and promote social interaction (Paumier, 37).

Form & Aesthetic Goals

Encourage environmental sensitivity to the site and it’s amenities.

1.     The natural setting of the site, it’s contours and vegetation, must be viewed as assets to be preserved and woven into the design as much as possible. ("Facilities standards for," 2010, p. 49) Proving spaces for ecological education and exterior amenities centering on environmental understanding connects users to the site.

2.     Porterfield and Hall (2001) explain that one of the key considerations for environmental consciousness “must encourage pedestrian movement, accommodate special activities, and promote social interaction.” The more the environment is oriented towards people, the more opportunity for further investments in public spaces like community centers (p. 37).

3.     Porterfield and Hall (2001) suggests that public and civic spaces should be designed as an integral part of the public realm and complement the outdoor, public spaces (p.77).

4.     Create a design that is consistent with existing and planned development patterns and nearby uses. The building’s exterior and interior should be consistent with existing local design aesthetic ("Facilities standards for," 2010, p. 49)

Establish defined spaces without closing in areas or decreasing the aesthetic value or character of the interior.

1.      Architectural functions that impact the needs of center users include visual harmony, thermal comfort, lighting, obtaining fresh air, and sound control (Chiara, 172).

2.     Ceilings and walls should be acoustically treated (Chiara, 191). This would fit the needs of those who use more private areas like classrooms or offices, where sound from the larger, more public spaces might travel.

The image within the community of the facility should be universally accessible.

1.     Keep flooring at the same level to reduce accidents in transitions spaces, corridors, and multiuse areas (DeChiara, 2001, p. 177).

2.     Function for all users should not be compromised because of accessibility standards, but those features must be provided so thateveryone can benefit from the center. Tucker (2010) recommends having a compliant route, ramps, and areas of refuges within the space, which accommodate those with disabilities (p. 356).

3.     Soften the hard surfaces within the interior so those with vision impairments can see clearly (Paumier, 67).

The interior should fit with the existing exterior facade of the building and the site’s topography, vegetation, and geologic conditions.

1.     Use finishes, materials, and fixtures that not only fit into the predetermined budget, but also are in accordance with the look and style of the building shell. Using local materials, as the Janet Huckabee Nature Center has done, can earn LEED points and connect the interior to the site.

2.     Public civic spaces should be designed as an integral part of the public realm and complement the outdoor public spaces (Paumier, 77).

3.     Porterfield & Hall (2001) explains that Arkansas has many natural resources that work well with interior atmosphere like natural rock and flyash.

Economic Goals

Plan for a highly efficient facility in order to minimize energy and operating costs.

1.     Create the most advanced interior possible without adding to the overall cost and be a model for sustainable practices. Use cost effective materials, while still responding to the historic and cultural context to maintain local cultural resources by reusing space materials (Mendler, 2000, p. 6).

2.     Enhance building longevity by creating a design to ease periodic refurbishment and selective replacement of building systems (Mendler, 2000, p. 6).

Provide flexibility in each space so areas can be quickly altered to fit the needs of the users.

1.     Coordinate planning of interior with existing structural and distribution systems. Giving priority to the building form and designing with expansion in mind aids in the future of the facility (DeChiara, 2001, p. 145).

1.     Provide both fixed and movable furniture located in and away from streams of activity (Paumier, 78).

Time Goals

To create a space that possesses adaptability based on the ever-changing needs of the community.

1.     Figure future growth into preliminary space planning in order to make future expansion possible (Pile, 2007, p. 233).
2.     The Jubilee Park community center interior spaces are very open and most walls are modular, leaving a lot of open space. Furniture is stackable and stored, creating versatile rooms. 
3.     Use partitions to separate large spaces and offices (Chiara, 188).

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