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USM Marine Education Center to be Featured on CBS Program

Wed, 11/16/2022 - 11:55am | By: Van Arnold

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Marine Education Center (MEC) will be featured on an episode of “America ByDesign: Architecture” set for Saturday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. on the CBS Streaming Network.

The MEC is one of several designs vying for the show’s People’s Choice award. Vote here:

“America ByDesign: Architecture” is a magazine-style television series that shines a spotlight on American architectural innovation, ingenuity, and design excellence to a broad CBS audience. The program provides a mainstream television audience with deep insights into what it takes to imagine, create, and bring to life the new and the impossible.

MEC Director Dr. Jessica Kastler explained that the show sent a crew, the producer, and the host to film at the center in late August. The MEC is part of the University’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Miss.

In May of this year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized the MEC design team with one of its highly sought-after Honor Awards. Prior to that in 2020, AIA awarded the MEC one of its Committee On The Environment Top 10 awards. The MEC is the only building in Mississippi to ever receive this designation, which awards 10 outstanding projects each year based on design excellence with environmental performance. This award is designated as one of the industry’s best-known programs for recognition of sustainable design excellence.

In recognition of these accolades, the AIA recommended that the MEC and its architects from Lake | Flato, San Antonio, Texas, for inclusion in the first season of America ByDesign: Architecture.

“The Marine Education Center continues to get so much attention in part because the architects listened closely to center staff about the vision for outdoor learning we developed in the years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the previous building,” said Kastler. “They created a facility that brings the outdoors inside and becomes part of the lesson as it illustrates concepts of environmental sustainability and hazard resilience.”

The first 5 episodes of “America ByDesign: Architecture” will feature four-to-five properties per episode. At the conclusion of each episode, a judging deliberation will result in one or more properties being chosen to go through to the sixth and final “Top 10” episode to determine which is America’s ultimate architectural design statement of the season.