District 203 Architect Project

District 203 high school students are taking it to the streets of Naperville to add real life application to their engineering classes.

“In the classroom you can only do so much and it’s best if you’re given a problem to solve that’s in the community or a problem to solve that’s architect related, so they will be mentored by an architect, and learn what’s it like to be the field,” said Instructor of the class at Naperville North High School, Rebecca DiOrio.

For their final project this year, the students will work in teams to conceptualize a new design for the nearly vacant Iroquois Shopping Center off Ogden Ave.

“I hope they acquire skills that show what a real world architect would be like, and what it would be like to work with a firm in the city of Naperville if they were to be an architect,” said DiOrio.

The ideas will also be presented to the city for consideration; something the students were looking forward to.

“I am excited because I had no idea we would be presenting this to business people. We also have completely free reign of the space so we can do whatever we want instead of have to just put in stores to the existing building,” said Senior, Lucas Lundstrom.

For many, this was the first time they could work on such a large-scale “real life” project.

“It’s a lot of real-world experience and I am hoping as I move forward and am looking at colleges this year – I hope they look at the opportunity and say ‘Oh, man this guys got experience,’ and that they will value it,” said Michael Stern, a Junior at NCHS.

In January the students will do a site survey of the area and the final project is due sometime in April.

Naperville News 17’s Natalie Vitale Reports.

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