Building Better Schools: AIA Architecture Awards

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 5:32 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) -Engaging the next generation of architects, several Anthony Wayne High School students took home top prizes for their design in an annual competition.

The American Institute of Architects Toledo Chapter is sparking creativity by hosting a competition for high school students.

“It is a competition that is real life as possible because a lot of these kids are going into architecture, some of them do it, because they enjoy it and are] not necessarily going into architecture. However, it give them an idea of how this is what architecture is involved in,” said Todd Heslet, Industrial Technology teacher.

This year the task was to design a brand new state of the art East Toledo Family Center.

Anthony Wayne senior Andrew Williamson said he is very proud of how his project landed with judges.

“So I wanted to incorporate a lot of green design and I also wanted to make sure instead of being like a square building it’s gonna be a lot of circles and angles to make it more unique and so combining that with sustainability. I think I got a really good project there,” Williamson said.

The hypothetical project took 10 weeks to complete and once the awards were presented Anthony Wayne High School was thrilled by the results.

“We had 18 participants and I had nine students win. I’m still in a little bit of shock from it because I’m like ‘did this really happen’ That’s the huge thing just watching the process,” Heslet said.

Of the 30 awards presented, Anthony Wayne took home 20.

“I was a little bit surprised coming into it. I knew I put a lot of work in and I knew I’d probably be up there, but I was surprised win yeah,” said Ben Bowen, Anthony Wayne senior.

The students didn’t only win awards but more than $11,000 in scholarships and cash.

Bowen said he’s heading to the University of Utah to study architect and Williamson will be studying Civil Engineering at the University of Toledo.

“While I’m not going into architecture... I think that experience of going through the design process will help me with that,” Williamson said.

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