The Belle Center

The Belle Center and Cannon Design Partner for a Community Design Workshop

The Belle Center and Cannon Design Partner for a Community Design Workshop

Buffalo, New York – May 29, 2012–Cannon Design and The Third Teacher +, an education design consultancy within Cannon Design, are partnering with The Belle Center to ask the question of, “What should The Belle Center look like to best serve the next generation?” The organizations will explore “how to better serve the whole family” and “the meaning of a multicultural community center” in an exciting full day, two-session, Community Design Workshop.

The main Community Design Workshop will take place at 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 104 Maryland Street Buffalo, NY 14201. Workshop facilitators from Cannon Design (World renowned- Trung T. Le, AIA, Principal, Sarah Malin, Melanie Kahl and other Cannon Design staff) will engage Belle staff and program participants, community members/organizations, business owners and stakeholders from local philanthropic foundations in a stimulating day of creative and strategic visioning for the future of The Belle Center and its immediate surrounding area.

Youth who use the facility will provide their input through fun and wacky workshop activities. The late afternoon session at 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. that day, will allow youth to have the center stage, and be arranged into small groups to re-imagine the community center. Community members and other non-youth participants will standby with the opportunity to add their feedback through a questionnaire related to this session.

“The Belle Center reminds us all that a true community center is less a place and more a rich 'fabric' of human relationships, histories and dreams,” says Christian Long, vice president, Cannon Design/The Third Teacher +. "The Third Teacher + team is inspired by organizations that create ‘ecologies’ of hope and learning, organizations that create ‘asset maps’ of opportunity for their neighbors, organizations that empower entire cities at large. This is what drew us to the Belle Center. And it is what continues to inspire us today with an eye on a collaborative future together."

There are over twenty different languages spoken at The Belle Center. Participants will examine The Belle Center’s Lower West Side of Buffalo community within the evolving context of its vast multiculturalism, and envision the possibilities of a campus that is conducive to the educational and social needs of the community.

“The Belle Center is here for the long haul to make a positive difference in our neighborhood and in the lives of our children and families,” said Nestor Hernandez, Executive Director of The Belle Center. “Our partnership with Cannon Design has led to this important day to re-visualize our services, facility and how to best serve the next generation. We look forward to our continued relationship with Cannon Design and the exploration of ideas, to birth, a fully conceptualized model of how our services will define our future space.”


About The Belle Center:
The Belle Center is a non-profit community center that bridges the gaps to success for youth and families. Headquartered on the Lower West Side of Buffalo, NY The Belle Center has over three decades of service to the community. It provides over 15 premier programs and services to the citizens of Western New York. Our vision is to: “improve lives, create opportunities and foster self-sufficiency” for the hundreds of youth & families who frequent The Center on a daily basis. Our Center offers services with the flexibility to grow along with our children and youth. For more information join us for one of our bi-weekly tours, visit:

About Cannon Design:
Cannon Design is an Ideas Based Practice, ranked among the leading international firms in planning and design for healthcare, research, education, corporate, sports and government clients. At present, the firm employs a staff of over 1,000, delivering services in 16 offices throughout North America, as well as in Shanghai, China, and Mumbai, India.

About The Third Teacher +
The Third Teacher + is an education design consultancy withinCannon Design that helps learning communities better serve 21st century learners.