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AHS Student Wins Affordable Housing Design Challenge

 AHS team
Ankeny High School junior wins the 2016 "Can I Be Your Neighbor" Design Challenge for Affordable Housing.  All five of the competition's finalists are from Ankeny Schools. 
 
Pictured left to right: Rileigh Sheaffer, junior; Jenna Iversen, senior; Dan Knoup, Executive Officer, Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines; Zach Gavin, junior; senior Conrad Lynch.  Not pictured: Tasha Vipond, senior.
 
 Zach Gavin
Zach Gavin, winner of the 2016 "Can I Be Your Neighbor" Design Challenge for Affordable Housing, makes his presentation to the judges during the competition on April 16 at Grand View University.
 
 Jenner Iversen
Jenna Iversen, runner-up in the 2016 "Can I Be Your Neighbor" Design Challenge for Affordable Housing, makes her presentation to the judges during the competition on April 16 at Grand View University.

ANKENY, Iowa (April 19, 2016) - Ankeny High School junior Zach Gavin was awarded first place and senior Jenna Iversen was runner-up in the 2016 "Can I Be Your Neighbor" Design Challenge for Affordable Housing on April 16 at Grand View University in Des Moines.
 
Five projects were selected to move to the final round of competition in which students presented their plans to a panel of judges.  All five of those presentations were from Ankeny students!  Gavin was awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines for his design.  Iversen was awarded a $500 scholarship from Ask Studio.  AHS junior Rileigh Sheaffer was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.  AHS senior Conrad Lynch and Ankeny Centennial High School senior Tasha Vipond were also finalists in the competition.  The judges consisted of home builders, architects, developers (HOME, Inc.) and volunteers from Age-Friendly Greater Des Moines and Anawim Housing.
 
"Watching the final presentations, I was filled with pride for all the students and their hard work," said Rory Vail, AHS Computer-Aided Design (CAD) instructor.   "It is an honor to work with such dedicated students, even those who do not make the finals work hard every day." 

In February, the students were given a biography of who would be living in the home, where the vacant lot is located, maximum square footage and limitations on costs. Within these parameters the students were asked to design the most appropriate affordable home for the family.
 
"To stay within all of the limitations and find solutions for the family and their design needs requires focus, research, and time management," added Vail.  "The students this year were exceptional at all of those skills."  

The design challenge, now in its fourth year, is part of the annual Affordable Housing Week, spearheaded by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.  Affordable Housing Week activities are designed to raise community awareness of the benefits that safe, stable and affordable housing brings to our community.

About Polk County Housing Trust Fund

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund is a comprehensive planning, advocacy, and funding organization for Affordable Housing in Polk County Iowa. It is responsible for crafting the community strategic plan for affordable housing and leading its implementation through the Housing Tomorrow program, the region’s first comprehensive plan for housing, which is part of the larger community sustainability initiative, The Tomorrow Plan

To learn more, please visit www.pchtf.org and the Housing Trust Fund’s social media channels of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.