Special Recognition Award: The Girl Scouts: Building confidence, character and a new Headquarters

October 01, 2008 |
The Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History features timeline panels and interactive displays from the start of the Council in the 1920s until today.

The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Program Place is the headquarters for the largest Girl Scout Council in the U.S., with 63,000 scouts. The

A pavilion sculpture represents the Girl Scout sash in which a Girl Scout displays merit badges and other honors.
Graphic floor display representing the components of a sail boat, helping promote the sailing program at Camp Casa Mare Sailing Center.
The lounge features a writeable glass-magnetic surface.

building houses the council’s administrative offices, a Girl Scout museum, and activity space. When an adjacent two-story office building became available, the council jumped at the chance to expand its museum and program space. In addition to the interior of the adjacent building, the exterior site and parking areas of both buildings were renovated to tie the campus together visually and functionally.

The Houston office of architect Gensler held numerous charrettes, in which Girl Scouts and administrative staff participated, throughout the design process. This allowed the Scouts themselves to become involved in the vision and design solutions. One idea that came out of the charrettes was the pavilion sculpture in the courtyard of the new campus; the sculpture represents the sash that all Girl Scouts wear to display their merit badges.

As construction began, the team from general contractor JE Dunn worked with the Girl Scouts operations group to solve the many logistical issues of constructing on an existing operational campus.

The interior portion of the project consists of the 14,000-sf first level, which houses the expanded Girl Scout retail shop, the Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History, and the Program Place for Girls. All three functional areas are expansions of existing spaces in the original building. All administrative functions were moved to the new building.

Project Summary
Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Program Place Project

Houston, Texas

Building Team

Submitting firm:
JE Dunn South Central, Inc. (GC)

Architect: Gensler

Structural engineer: Matrix Structural Engineers

General Information

Construction time: March 2006 to December 2007

Project size: 14,000 sf

Project cost: $3.2 million

Delivery method: Design-bid-build
Overlay Init