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Mimar McKissick / Minority Educational Planning

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Kristen McKissick View Drop Down

Joined: Nov 28 2012
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Status: Offline
Points: 88
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    Posted: Oct 08 2013 at 6:41pm
Mimar McKissick Education Formed to Improve Educational System Outcomes
Good news for teachers, administrators, students and legislators. Baltimore's Kal Bhatti, AIA, Principal of Mimar Architects (, a successful Minority Business Enterprise of Baltimore, MD has partnered with McKissick Associates ( an Award winning Education Architecture firm from Harrisburg, PA.
Baltimore, MD  September 19, 2013
Research shows that well-designed classrooms can improve the academic performance of primary school pupils by up to 25 percent.

Some might argue that with good teachers, students can learn in a tent. While that may be true, research from the University of Salford in the U.K. indicates that the architecture, design and environment of the school itself may account for up to one fourth of the reason for student performance and outcomes.

It was in this spirit that Baltimore's Kal Bhatti, AIA, Principal of Mimar Architects (, a successful Minority Business Enterprise of Baltimore, MD has partnered with McKissick Associates ( an Architecture firm from Harrisburg, PA that specializes and has completed hundreds of successful school projects throughout the region.    

Vern L. McKissick III (AIA, CEFP, ARA, LEED AP), Principal of McKissick Associates, is a Certified Educational Facility Planner (CEFP) whose 30 year portfolio includes K-12 designs for over 75 clients across the Mid-Atlantic region.

His commitment to school planning, sustainability and experience in management and service, earned his firm the 2013 "Project of the Year Diamond Award" from the 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania for the adaptive reuse conversion of the historic 1885 St. Joseph's Hospital into a new intermediate high school for over 3,000 students in Reading, PA. In 2012, one of the renovation/addition projects completed by his firm was named as the “Green Project of the Year” by the USGBC local chapter and was the first K-12 school to achieve a Green Globes rating in the state. His passion, for "the way in which Architecture facilitates the bond between people and place," has only increased over the course of his career.

As an example, Vern McKissick personally helped raise $3.5 million in state, federal, and local donations to turn a condemned auditorium into a beautiful modern concert hall and stage for Hazelton, PA. He discovered the historic building while observing the community during the renovation of a local K-8 elementary school.  

"I felt that McKissick's projects, the synergy we created together, their ideas about community development and their commitment to award winning K-12 design made them the perfect partner for Maryland and the region," said Bhatti.    

The firms pledge to commit to a functional approach that includes sustainability, building community consensus and being on time and under budget. Together, the firms will have completed over 200 school feasibility studies, encompassing over 40 million square feet and nearly two billion dollars’ worth of new and renovated K-12 work that has impacted more than 300,000 students.    

The partnership will also include information on the website that will describe the vision of the partnership, best practices in education Architecture, as well as other pertinent information to help future generations and improve the long term outcome for each project the firm works on. The number one goal of the partnership is to do what is best for the clients and the people they serve.

The name of the new firm will be Mimar McKissick Education and includes a dedicated Education Design Studio.

7000 Security Boulevard, Suite 320 | Baltimore, MD 21244 | 410. 944. 4900 {PH} | 410. 944. 8044 {FAX} |

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