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BSU, NTC students model proposed Bemidji regional events center

From left, Cody Wellner, Travis White, Matthew Shaw and Vince Houser show the model they built of the proposed Bemidji regional events center. Wellner, White and Houser are students at Bemidji State University and Shaw is a student at Northwest Technical College. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

The proposed Bemidji regional events center can now be viewed in the form of a 3-D model at Bemidji City Hall.

Students from Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University created the acrylic model for a class project this fall. They delivered it to City Hall earlier this month.

The city of Bemidji plans to build the events center in the Lake Bemidji south shore area.

"I think it was very professionally done," City Manager John Chattin said of the model.

The students - Cody Wellner, Vince Houser, Travis White, Matthew Shaw and Al Todd - built the model for Model Processes III, an NTC class focusing on architectural modeling. Both NTC and BSU students are enrolled in the class.

NTC industrial model instructor Lyle Meulebroeck, who teaches the class, said he tried to find community projects for students to work on.

"Those have more value because you get to work with a client," he said.

With tools including a laser cutter, computer controlled machining and AutoCAD, the students built the scale model using 50 percent of the construction documents for the events center. They started building the model around the first of October and spent more than 400 hours on the project.

"Time was really a factor on this project," said Wellner, a senior majoring in model design at BSU.

The students finished the model Dec. 4, one day before Wellner's senior portfolio presentation.

The model features the facility with surrounding green space, parking areas, roadways and landscaping. The students left part of the facility's roof open to show the ice rink inside - an idea suggested by Wellner.

The model also lights up with lights on the sign above the main entrance, lights around the outside of the facility and lights casting over the ice rink.

"I liked making the street lamps," said Shaw, a second-year student in NTC's industrial model making program.

White, a senior prototype engineering major at BSU, noted that he enjoyed the challenge of making the model. He also said he enjoyed learning a new set of skills that accompany architectural model making.

Wellner, who plans to work for an architectural firm after graduation, said being able to take a set of plans and make an exact scale replica is an accomplishment.

Houser, a sophomore prototype engineering major at BSU, said he enjoyed working with people with different skills and learning from them. As the youngest in the group, he said being able to work with older students who have more experience was a pleasure.

"I learned a lot from them," Houser said.