St. Louis Developer Paul McKee, Jr. and his NorthSide Regeneration development have named Team 6 from Metro Academic and Classical High School as the Gold Winners of their 6th Annual Project Design Challenge. Team 4 from McKinley Classical Leadership Academy was named the Silver Winner and Team 3 from St. Mary’s High School received the Bronze award. The winners were announced during an awards ceremony on April 29 at the Engineers’ Club of St. Louis.
Six teams representing four St. Louis City high schools (St. Mary’s High School, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy, Metro Academic and Classical High School and Vashon High School) participated in this year’s competition, which challenged students to design an interactive urban park within the NorthSide Regeneration development. Design elements that were to be incorporated into every team’s submission included a variety of sundials, a passive solar food concession building with indoor and outdoor seating, appropriate plant species to enhance the site all year round, water features, a history walk and an amphitheater.
For two students on the winning team, this was the second year that they participated in the challenge, and now one of them is planning on studying architecture at the University of Kansas and the other plans to study mechanical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
This is exactly the goal of our city-wide, high school challenge – to expose more youth to the fields of architecture, engineering and construction,” said McKee. “Year after year, the students surpass our expectations, coming up with innovative ideas and uses for new products and technology in their plans.”
The design challenge was open to any student attending high school within St. Louis City, including public, charter, private and parochial schools. Teams, which could include up to six students, were required to register for the challenge by Jan. 18, 2019.
Participating teams were required to submit a project description between 300-500 words explaining their design theory and solution by the April 5, 2019 submission deadline. Each team also submitted no more than three poster boards showing an aerial location for the park, a site plan, enlarged details/and or elevations and an optional perspective drawing. A 3-D model of each team’s design was also required.
On April 13, 2019, each team orally presented their project, then answered questions before a jury of individuals in the fields of architecture, engineering and construction, plus neighborhood liaisons and representatives of NorthSide Regeneration. This year’s judges included: Michael B. Kennedy, Jr., CEO of KAI Enterprises; Donald N. Koster III, Senior Lecturer at Washington University and Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and Design Practice Leader at Arcturis; William Laskowsky, Chief Development Officer at M Property Services; Paul McKee, Jr., Chairman of M Property Services and owner of NorthSide Regeneration; David Suttle, Design for Architecture Interiors and Planning; Ramona Tumblin-Rucker, Director of Construction Management at M Property Services; Paul Whitson, Regional Leader of Healthcare at HOK; and Chris Wilson, Project Manager at Cole.
“Our thanks to everyone who helped with this project design competition, especially the teachers and mentors who guided and encouraged the students throughout the design process. We could not have been more impressed with all of the students’ creativity and excellent work,” said McKee. “Thanks to everyone who participated and helped to make this year’s challenge another success.”
To date, over 300 students representing nine St. Louis City High Schools, and over 50 mentors have participated in NorthSide Regeneration’s Project Design Challenge. Past challenges have included, “Planning for the Autonomous Vehicle”, “Neighborhood Entry Marker”, “Urban Park”, “Neighborhood Streetscape” and “Parking Lot of the 21stCentury”. The challenge is coordinated every year by Karen Bahr, Executive Assistant at M Property Services.