MAYOR JAMES MUELLER
Mayor Mueller is the 33rd mayor of South Bend. He unveiled the plan to revitalize the King Center with $11 million of American Rescue Plan dollars during his July 2021 State of the City address, recognizing the significance of the Center and the vital role it plays in the community. Mayor Mueller is the executive sponsor of the Build the Dream project, meaning that he proposed the $11 million plan to the Common Council of South Bend for their approval. He will work closely with the rest of the core team throughout the project.
Executive Director of Venues Parks & Arts
Aaron Perri has worked in community development his entire career, most recently leading the City of South Bend’s Venues Parks & Arts Department since 2016. He has directed many exciting projects including the renovations of Howard Park, the Charles Black Center, SB150, the installation of the South Bend River Lights, and the upcoming Morris 100 projects. He will work with the core team to lead the “Build the Dream” project and is responsible for executive decisions in the process.
Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Mueller
Jordan Gathers is Mayor Mueller’s Deputy Chief of Staff and has served in this role since January 2020. Some of his projects include working with the Homelessness Task Force, serving on the Board of Public Works, and being a liaison between various City departments and the mayor. His role in the “Build the Dream” project is to lead the project and make executive decisions in line with the vision of the mayor and the community.
PATRICK SHERMAN, PMP
Project Manager, Venues Parks & Arts
Patrick Sherman has proudly served the Department of Venues Parks & Arts for 5 years to help realize the unprecedented capital infrastructure investments in the My South Bend Parks & Trails initiative. Patrick has been involved in projects like the Charles Black renovation, Leeper Park, Pulaski Park, Howard Park, and many others. He will serve as the primary project manager for the Build the Dream project.
Director of Community Initiatives, Office of the Mayor
PROJECT CORE TEAM
Maurice Scott served as the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for 22 years. During his time at the Center, he drove many programs, including the Soldiers Basketball Program, the MADE Violence Prevention Program, After School Program, Summer Learning Camp, and the Dream Academy. He now serves as the Director of Community Initiatives and leads programs that work to prevent Violence and increase Hope in the South Bend Community. His role in the Build the Dream project is to advise on decisions and engagement with his knowledge of the King Center and his relationships with the community around it.
Engineer, Department of Public Works
Becca Plantz has worked as an engineer for the City of South Bend for more than 3 years. Becca plays an important technical role in the Build the Dream project as the engineer; she will ensure that the renovated center operates efficiently, is structured appropriately, and is compatible with City utilities and other essential functions. She has been involved in several improvement projects at the Century Center and is the project engineer for the Morris 100 improvements.
Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
Project Core Team
Stefanie Coleman has worked at the King Center for many years and has served as the director since 2020. Stefanie manages all the employees of the Center and the programming there. Her role in the Build the Dream project is to work with the core team to ensure that the renovated Center improves the functions and programming that already exist, and to make sure it is in line with what the Center’s users want and need.
CYNTHIA S. TAYLOR
Director of Community Programming, VPA
Project Core Team
Cynthia Taylor was the long-time director of the City’s Charles Black Community Center. In 2020, she transitioned to the role of Director of Community Programming for the entire VPA department. In this project, she plays the vital role of working with Stefanie Coleman to map out the past and future programming for the King Center, including the programming that will take place during the renovation and construction process.
Director of Community Engagement
Project Engagement Team
Alkeyna Aldridge has worked with the City of South Bend for more than six years. In her current role, she leads the community engagement team and works to enable residents to access economic opportunity and civic participation. She and her team, along with the architecture and design firm Meticulous, are responsible for the community engagement and input process for the Build the Dream project.
DAMON HEWLIN, AIA, LEED AP
Architect of Record: METICULOUS Design + Architecture
Project Design Consultant
Damon Hewlin is a founding partner and architect of the architecture firm METICULOUS Design + Architecture. He and his world-class team have worked on commercial and residential projects in the USA and abroad. He and the METICULOUS team, including DLZ and VS Engineering, are responsible for the design of the new MLK Dream Center and Campus, and they are committed to allowing the community engagement process to inform the design of the new Center.
|METICULOUS Design + Architecture||METICULOUS is the primary consultant and Architect of Record on the project. They will be leading the design of the building and working closely with the City on extensive community engagement. This describes them in their own words:|
“We are METICULOUS about work that is “Meaningful, Purposeful, and Impactful”. We approach each engagement as an opportunity to help positively shape the built environment around us and within our communities. It’s a conscious blend of form, function, beauty, and user experience. With a diverse portfolio, a wealth of experience, and an exposure beyond the norm to draw from, we set out to find thoughtful solutions for clients who seek our assistance in bringing their vision to reality.”
|DLZ||DLZ is a local, multidisciplinary engineering firm that METICULOUS is partnering with in the project. They are talented and experienced and will be providing Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Engineering services. They will also be managing the execution of the Geotechnical Soil Investigation work.|
|VS Engineering||VS Engineering is a local, multidisciplinary engineering firm who will also be on the METICULOUS project team. They will be using their talent, skills, and wealth of experience to execute the Site / Civil Engineering services. They will also be managing the execution of the Alta and Topography Surveys needed for the project.|
|Community Advisory Group (CAG)||14-person advisory group of community stakeholders. Read more about the CAG here.|
|Department of Community Investment||The Department of Community Investment will work to ensure that the renovated King Center spurs growth and development for the whole neighborhood.|
|Department of Planning||The Planning team will help to reimagine the streetscape around the King Center and define the way the area will be zoned and used for commercial, public, and residential space.|
|Department of Innovation & Technology||The I&T department will provide technical support during the community engagement sessions as well as after construction is finished to ensure the Center includes state-of-the-art technology, like Wi-Fi and other connectivity.|
|Department of Venues, Parks & Arts||The VPA department will be responsible for the staffing, programming, and all other aspects of the community center.|