Pankalo Education Center
Pankalo Education Center
Creative, calming, and compassionate. Pankalo Education Center serves K-8 students with special needs through artistic empowerment and a supportive, safe learning environment. As the second BWBR-designed facility for Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916, Pankalo builds upon the success of Karner Blue Education Center by using lessons learned to enhance the new school’s design and operation, specifically programmed to students with severe autism and emotional-behavioral disorders.
This 20-classroom school emphasizes controlled views, natural light, integrated Human-Centered Safety™ features, and state-of-the-art mechanicals to minimize environmental effects on students sensitive to sensory disruptions. The key to the success of this educational/behavioral combination design was to provide layers of interventional spaces for students learning coping skills for self-regulation. Classrooms, community rooms, and hallways with controlled sightlines all integrate soundproofing, daylight, and seating options where students can calm themselves without interrupting surrounding classrooms and students.
Additionally, BWBR created a branded logo for Pankalo, a name derived from two Greek words to mean “complete beauty.” BWBR’s graphics department met with the client to hear their direction, then developed logo concepts that incorporated the four neighborhood themes within Pankalo: Symphony, Harmony, Kaleidoscope, and Mosaic. The resulting Pankalo icon is an arrangement of four individual tiles that coincide with the neighborhood themes and colors of the school.
Additional Team Members
Brian Buchholz (retired)
Principal, Senior Vice President
Steve Erickson (retired)
Jeff Griesinger (retired)
76,000 sq. ft.
20 classrooms, designed around four learning communities; natural lighting and therapy lights throughout the building; indoor playground; sensory rooms with colored lighting and student-controlled music and sounds; soft, movable, and child-friendly furniture; flexible learning spaces for small-group or one-on-one instruction; the latest in assistive and educational technology; outdoor playground with musical and other sensory features; new BWBR-designed Pankalo logo
August 11, 2023
The built environment is accountable for a substantial 40% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
February 14, 2022
Although we have seen many challenges over the past 23 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed opportunities to re-envision how and where we teach and learn.
June 8, 2021
Back in 2013, Hanna Kuehl, CID, LEED AP, Steve Berg, AIA, and the team at BWBR were given a brand-new...
October 12, 2020
Learning space design, approached from a holistic perspective, takes into account the spectrum of learning activities and the variety of...
August 7, 2020
A nationally registered historic lab and classroom facility at Carroll University has earned LEED® certification, making it the second campus...
September 1, 2019
Karner Blue Education Center started with a clean slate and an aim to design a school unlike traditional elementary schools....