Designing the V3 Center; Led by an Energetic, Expert Architect Born and Raised in North

North Minneapolis is a vibrant community, filled with love, unity, and indescribable energy. And an entrance to this incredible group of neighborhoods sits on the corner of Plymouth and Lyndale Avenues. Coincidentally, this is where we’ll build the V3 Community Center, complete with world-class training and fitness opportunities, the 50-meter pool used at the 2021 US Olympic Trials, and a 25-yard instructional pool. Producing a physical structure that is reflective of the North community and V3’s ambitious vision sounds like a daunting task. Right?

“I think one of the things that we’re excited about is we see this project as kind of a gateway into north Minneapolis. That’s a pretty prominent entrance coming from the North Loop. And we have this opportunity to have this (V3 Center) serve as kind of a catalyst for projects up and down the corridor; that’s great as well. I think this will start to spur development up and down Plymouth Avenue so we’re really excited about it,” the newly hired, lead architect for the V3 Center project explained.

We’ve been extremely excited to detail the journey surrounding our 50-meter pool, which is currently being used to select the USA Olympic Swimming Team in Omaha, Nebraska. We’re equally excited to introduce you to the architect who will now be designing the V3 Center. I’m sure you’re wondering, who is up to the task of packing all these hopes, dreams, and excitement into one building? We didn’t have to look far for our answer!

“I grew up In North Minneapolis, we’ve worked on countless projects over in North,” Project Manager Keon Blasingame of LSE Architects proudly announces. “So, we have a vested interest in making sure we’re impacting the community that has given us so much, in terms of our upbringing in North Minneapolis. So, I’m just happy to be part of the process.”

LSE is the largest black-owned architecture firm in the Upper Midwest, and quite possibly one of the largest in the nation. They’ve already built a lasting legacy in and around Minneapolis, having designed and worked on the Webber Park Library, Regional Acceleration Center, and the North Market. To see more visit

“When we sat down with the LSE team, that connection was almost instant. I believe V3 and LSE share a similar energy regarding our commitment to serving the community and making Minneapolis a better, and more beautiful place to live. This is a team led by individuals who grew up in North, understand Minneapolis, and uses its considerable talents to help neighborhoods grow and thrive,” V3 Founder and President Erika L. Binger said.

“We have a vested interest in making sure we’re impacting the community that has given us so much, in terms of our upbringing in North Minneapolis. So, I’m just happy to be part of the process.”

— Keon Blasingame, LSE Architects Project Manager

But here’s the thing. LSE doesn’t just draw on its own design experience; they’ll rely heavily on your input, whether you’re a resident, business owner, or supporter. Community focus groups will be instrumental in the building’s design because the V3 Center will serve the City for decades to come.

“I think one of the things that comes to mind is sort of iconic, right? Something that evokes the level of importance and prominence that it should, both for the community and for a facility like this. I think that’s one of the things that we want to look at most is trying to find ways to come up with a motif or pattern that carries through. We want to have V3’s vision embodied in it,” Blasingame remarked.

Really, we’re talking about much more than a brick-and-mortar structure. LSE, V3 Sports, and the community-at-large are collectively designing a Center that will serve as a gateway to the community, a world-class and competitive swimming venue and destination, a place where families will receive life-saving swim lessons, and a gathering space where community members can find opportunities, support each other and tackle health and wellness disparities.

Oh… we also promise the Center will be an iconic work of art befitting of the vibrant, energetic, and unified community the “building” will serve.

Help us build the V3 Center!

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