Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore (JA), a nonprofit organization headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland, recently unveiled renderings that feature the design of their new interactive learning center. The ‘Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center’ is now in the early phases of construction with anticipated delivery by Fall 2023. Located within Oak Ridge Commons, the center will fill the 25,000+ square foot unit formerly occupied by Kmart at the 300-block of Tilghman Road in Salisbury, Maryland.
Gillis Gilkerson (GGI) and Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc. (DBF) have formed a team that is responsible for the design and construction of the center. The state of the art facility is expected to serve 10,000+ students across the Delmarva Peninsula, annually. In partnership with local school systems, the experimental learning center will support Junior Achievement’s mission to improve financial literacy, workplace readiness, and entrepreneurial skills amongst our region’s youth.
With hands-on learning as the core strategy for delivering real-world scenarios to students, this unique adaptive reuse project will transform the vacancy into a “mock city” – one that simulates the day-to-day functions of adult life. This portion of the facility will feature a large, open area complete with eighteen interactive storefronts that serve to encourage career exploration. Students will also have access to a learning lab with interactive monitors and other technology used to explore career paths and their associated education requirements.
As you enter the front of the building, the lobby space will feature an exhibit wall recognizing the facility’s generous donors as well as a display spotlighting the history of the Junior Achievement organization. From this entrance, the office and boardroom portion of the center will be accessible for JA staff and visitors. Other areas of the center will be dedicated to outdoor learning and the hosting of events.
“Designing the center as it was envisioned by JA has been a truly rewarding experience. The center was collaboratively designed with the overall goal of enriching education, reinforcing connections between students and their local communities, and fostering positive student experiences,” said DBF Architect Project ManagerPayton Bridge, AIA.
As a whole, Junior Achievement operates on a national level, reaching over 3-million students per year. With a sincere commitment to providing our country’s youth with the knowledge and skills needed to create their own success, Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore opens this center backed by the full support of the Delmarva community.
“It’s truly an honor to have been selected as the construction team for this project. We are beyond excited to play a role in the transformation of this space, helping it to become a community asset for years to come,” said GGI Vice President Tyler Barnes. “Junior Achievement makes a lasting impact on our community. The guidance and examples their initiatives provide to our youth are critical throughout the Eastern Shore and beyond.”