Participants in this year’s Town of Tomorrow schools’ competition have an additional area on which to set their imaginations loose – the vast Westport convent site, which was recently acquired by Mayo County Council and Westport Town Council.
Following its very successful inaugural year, the second annual Town of Tomorrow competition, which sets students the task of coming up with their own unique 3D model of one of four sections of Westport town, was launched last week in the Plaza Hotel – and is set to attract huge interest from local students.
Sponsored by Westport Town Council, in association with The Mayo News and AMT3D, the competition allows students to work with the 3D model of Westport, which was designed last year and remains the only one of its kind in the country, using Google SketchUp software. Twenty-seven entries were received last year, with the impressed judges remarking on the creativity, technical ability and application of all teams.
In addition to students from the three local secondary schools – Carrowbeg College, Sacred Heart School and Rice College – a special category has been included this year for students on the Architectural Technology and Construction Management course in GMIT, Castlebar. They, too, will be challenged – in teams of two to four – to come up with their own version of how they would like Westport town to look in the future. Once again, creations can be as realistic, futuristic or idealistic as the students’ imaginations dictate.
Speaking at the launch, Westport Town Manager, Peter Hynes, said that following the success of last year’s competition, he expected even greater interest this year.
“We were very pleased, and surprised, with the number of entries last year, and the addition this year of the third-level students (from GMIT ) will add another dimension to it. This competition has the potential to spread its wings throughout the county and this is the first step. It will be interesting to see what students who are considering pursuing a career in building design will come with.
“Both the students and the teachers last year really enjoyed the challenge of the competition and we enjoyed the quirkiness of many of the designs and the overall imagination. And who knows, some may even find their way into the thinking of Westport Town Council in the future,” he said.
The four areas which are open to remodelling this year are: Bridge Street/The Mall; The Clock/Shop Street/The Octagon; Tubberhill/The Octagon/James Street, and The Mall/Convent Site. Ms Daniela Brica, Google Earth’s Senior Associate in Europe, will once again be one of the judges, while a second has yet to be appointed.
There will be prizes for each individual school and for the GMIT students, in addition to an overall prize-winning entry to be chosen from the three schools combined, and a separate overall prize for the GMIT.
Application forms have been issued to all schools and to the GMIT students and must be completed and returned to Westport Town Council offices, Altamont Street, Westport by Friday November 14. The students will have already received the relevant software, plus tutorials in how to use it, by that date, and will have the next three months to formulate their designs.