Challenger Space Center
The Challenger Space Centers were created in commemoration of the Challenger astronauts who perished during their mission launch. The center’s goal is to encourage long-term interest for kids in pursuing math, science, and technology careers. By flying simulated missions to the moon, mars, and comets, students learn to work in teams towards solving common problems and ensure a successful mission.
A 33,000 SF new construction building, this center had the added distinction of having the internationally known space artist Robert McCall as part of the design team to create a large rotunda where he installed a large mural depicting the evolution of our world, from the big bang to the future of space exploration, as well as other elements such as planets, and space flight vehicles.
When not used for simulated missions the building functions as a significant learning center, and a community gathering venue.
Paul Winslow, FAIA, as the architect of record developed the conceptual design with the Challenger staff, but also included a programming a design session with twenty-five students selected from the community. This was also a collaboration with the world renowned space artist, Robert McCall and Paul Koehler, who was the superintendent of Peoria Unified District at the time. Paul Winslow, FAIA, also led the programming process, the design, and oversaw the construction administration while working at Orcutt/Winslow.
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