Conant student brings home first place in architecture competition


In her junior year of high school, Isabelle Hanley is well on her way to becoming an architect. The CHS student placed first at the Building Construction/Computer Aided Design (BC/CAD) competition this past Thursday, October 27, where six students from Conant, Hoffman Estates, and Schaumburg high schools were entered. The students were tasked to design and present a home in front of a panel of real estate agents, architects, interior designers, builders, and administrators. Because she won, Hanley’s house will be built starting in the fall of 2017.

The students arrived at the District 211 office at 8:00 a.m. and were given half an hour to set up. At 8:30, judges walked around and looked at the design boards to see which ones caught their eyes. The individual presentations began at 9:00 am, and Hanley was the fourth to present. After the presentations ended, the students ate lunch. Next, the judges gave constructive criticism to the students. Every finalist received a plaque, and at the end, the building construction teacher from HEHS, Todd Stennett, announced Hanley as the winner.

“I was really nervous [while presenting] because they are professionals, and I’m not, so I was worried about what they would think,” Hanley said. “But I was also excited to have this opportunity to show my work to professionals and get their opinions on my house.”

Hanley designed a craftsman-style home with a second story balcony. She placed the garage on the right side. She said the judges didn’t ask her any questions after she gave her presentation. She also wasn’t too intimidated by her competition.

“I wasn’t too worried because a lot of the others had only been in CAD for a year, but I’ve been in it for three,” she explained. “I had more experience than them.”

In CAD, there is a focus on engineering animation and architecture. She says the competition gave her the ability to see what her current skills as an architect are like.

“[I like architecture because] I like designing houses and building things,” she said. “I was given a set of Legos when I was young, and I loved them. I think it’s interesting to design houses that people can live in.”

Before Hanley could present at the district office, she had to compete in a small competition in Conant. Students were asked to design a house within certain parameters such as square footage and a minimum numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms. Once students turned in their designs, the Applied Tech department chose the top eight designs. From there, the rest of the staff voted for the top two houses. In addition to Hanley, Emily Mazurek, ‘17, also represented CHS, and she placed second at the district office.

Jeffery Robinson, Hanley’s CAD teacher, said he was confident in her design because it met all the requirements. “She was always conquering anything I threw at her, whether it was a technical skill or creative mindset. She is a passionate student with a great work ethic and never hesitates to help someone in need,” he said.

Hanley said she was excited that she won because her home would be built for real. She says winning the competition is a great start to her career, and she hopes to study architecture at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“I’m very thankful for this opportunity and the opportunities Conant has to offer to me,” Hanley added.'

Aditi Katwala

Aditi Katwala is a senior at Conant High School. She is excited for her final year working on the Crier as an editor in chief. She is also the captain of the Congressional Debate Team, president of HOSA, and involved in BPA. In her free time, she enjoys Indian classical dancing, Netflix and volunteering at local hospitals. Something that many don't know about Aditi is that she did her Bharatnatyam Arangetram (dance graduation) during the summer of 2014.

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