Current projects

We currently have more than 15 different projects in various stages of research, design and production. Here's the scoop on a few (due to the confidential nature of some of the work, specific names and locations cannot be disclosed):

Three Rivers Children's Discovery Play Center
Construction has begun on this children's edutainment center we designed for the Lake County, Indiana, Parks Department. It will be the world's first children's edutainment center to be owned and operated by a public park department. The project, temporarily named the Three Rivers Children's Discovery Play Center until its brand name is developed, will be located in the 69-acre Three Rivers Park in the Gary/Lake Station area of Lake County, Indiana.

The Three Rivers Children's Discovery Center will be the most advanced version of the children's edutainment center concept White Hutchinson first created in 1995 and has been evolving and perfecting ever since. The Center will include a 22,000-square-foot building and about one acre of outdoor play areas and is projected to open later this fall.

We are currently reviewing shop drawing submittals from the contractors and working on furniture and equipment selection and procurement.

The Lake County Parks Department decided to develop the Center for a number of reasons. Three Rivers Park in the northern part of the county was slated for improvements to enhance Department offerings to northern county residents. The Department's current children's programs have a primary focus on middle age and older children, so a center focused on children 8 and younger helps round out offerings to county families. Income from the project will help fund other Department programs (as with commercial edutainment centers, there will be an admission fee to the Center). Lake County Parks Department already operates a major water park, Deep River Waterpark, which contributes significant funding for park programs.

Sun Mountain Fun Center, Bend, Oregon
Back in 1996, the owners of the Sun Valley Bowling Center retained the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group to conduct a feasibility study and develop plans to convert the bowling center into a family entertainment center. As a result, the center was expanded to include a gameroom and outdoor go-karts and miniature golf, and it was re-branded as Sun Mountain Fun Center. The center also discontinued league bowling, only offering open-play bowling, probably a first for the bowling industry. Over the years revenues have grown, and the business has prospered.

In 2006, the owners invited us back to evaluate the center and develop a strategy and master plan to further grow the business. We are currently working on designing plans to renovate the existing center, as well as add a building addition that will replace the existing outdoor batting cages. As part of the renovation, we are developing plans to upgrade the center's food offerings to include specialty coffees, grilled foods, fresh-made salads and gourmet pizzas baked in a stone hearth oven.

Silverlake Family Recreation Center, Erlanger, Kentucky
Our relationship with Silverlake Family Recreation Center in Erlanger, Kentucky, and its sister facility, Better Bodies in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, dates back to 2002. After conducting market research and analysis of its membership, we helped Silverlake develop a branding strategy to target families with a diversified variety of health and recreation offerings. We designed renovation plans for the main part of the facility, including the drop-off childcare, locker room, café and lobby areas. That work was completed in 2006. One of the big hits of the renovation with their members has been the family locker room that features private family changing, shower and restroom facilities. At Better Bodies, we designed the renovation of the drop-off child care area and remodeled many other parts of the club.

In 2005-2006, Silverlake Family Recreation Center underwent a major remodel
based on plans designed by White Hutchinson.

We are now working with Silverlake to plan a major addition that will allow the business to expand health and fitness offerings (they are outgrowing the existing facility). The design will include additional family recreation offerings, a family restaurant-eatertainment facility, party and celebration facilities and children's enrichment workshop studios. Their expansion will also include a member's-only waterpark.

PlayCafé, greater Chicago area
We have begun design work on a 4,100-square-foot playcafé that will target at-home moms with children ages birth to 5. Over the years, we have evolved our children's edutainment center designs into a smaller model to target this weekday market. We have been working with this client for over two years to find the right store space for the facility. This will be the smallest facility of this type we have ever designed. (To learn more about at-home mom playcafés, see Coffee, café, play, mommy and me.)

West Oaks Mall, Houston, Texas
We are working on a repositioning strategy, renovation and expansion plans for a new lifestyle center component and the addition of an indoor-outdoor children's play and discovery (edutainment) center for this 1.1-million-square-foot mall.

Eatertainment facility, south Texas area
We are conducting feasibility, site evaluation and concept development for a new family eatertainment facility.

Bowling Center, greater Charlotte, North Carolina, area
We are conducting feasibility and concept development for a bowling lounge center.

Agritainment, Central Valley, California
We've started work with a farm that has a traditional pumpkin festival and corn maze in the fall. We are examining feasibility and developing a program to expand the farm's offerings so it can become a seven-month agritainment attraction.