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For the fifth straight year, St. Louis area developer Paul McKee, Jr. of M Property Services, LLC (MPS), along with NorthSide Regeneration, is challenging St. Louis City high school students to an urban design challenge.

For the 2019 challenge, students will explore the conceptual design of an interactive urban park within NorthSide Regeneration – an urban, mixed-use community being developed by McKee that encompasses over 1,500 acres in North St. Louis City. Utilizing the existing city street network and the designated park area within the development’s proposed Innovation District and HealthWorks Village, students will be challenged to design a park that incorporates landscape features, amenities, attractions and structures suitable for creating a branded experience and regional attraction. The main element of the design must include a passive solar concession building, park elements and several varieties of sundials.

“We believe it is important to expose more youth to the fields of architecture, engineering and construction through involvement in our city-wide, high school Project Design Challenge,” 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. We would love to see more teams participate.”

The design challenge is open to any student attending high school within St. Louis City, including public, charter, private and parochial schools. Teams, which can include up to six students, are required to register for the challenge by Jan. 18, 2019. MPS will try to assign a mentor to each team/teacher – a professional in the field of architecture or engineering who will help guide them through the creative and design process.

Participating teams will be 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 must also submit 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 will also be required.

On April 13, 2019, each team will orally present their project, then answer questions to a jury which will be comprised of individuals in the architecture and engineering fields, plus neighborhood liaisons and representatives of NorthSide Regeneration.

The jury will choose Gold, Silver and Bronze winners, with all other teams earning an Honorable Mention. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 29, 2019 at the Engineers’ Club of St. Louis.

The challenge is coordinated each year by Karen Bahr, Executive Assistant at M Property Services. Over the past five years, approximately 285 students from 55 teams representing nine schools (including CCC, Roosevelt, St. Mary’s, Metro, Gateway, McKinley, Vashon, Cleveland and Carnahan) and 34 mentors have participated in the Project Design Challenge. Past challenges have included, “Planning for the Autonomous Vehicle”, “Neighborhood Entry Marker”, “Urban Park”, “Neighborhood Streetscape” and “Parking Lot of the 21st Century”.

For more information about the design challenge, contact Karen Bahr at 636-561-9337 or email