Braeden Byrd awarded First at Nationals in Architecture by NAWIC

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(CENTER FOR CAEREER & TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION -- May 15, 2020) — The architectural design for a proposed addition to a military memorial in Cleveland drafted by a CCTE and Franklin High School student is the top design in the country.

Senior Braeden Byrd won the prize from the National Association of Women in Construction Education Foundation, which includes a $1,500 check. This is the second year in a row that an EPISD student wins the prize.

Byrd designed a visitor’s center for the U.S.S Cod Submarine Memorial in Ohio. His designed had already won contests locally and regionally. 

“I was shocked to find out I won. I thought that I only won the local competition,” he said. “I honestly couldn’t believe that I made it up to nationals and won. It felt amazing to win and have all my work pay off in the end.”

The Foundation evaluates entries for detail, accuracy and originality. The competition’s strict guidelines required the building to be rectangular, but Byrd got creative with it.

“I thought it was rather boring so to make the structure more interesting I made the roof have a wavy design to give the building a more unique look and to mirror the structure with the waves of Lake Erie,” he said. “I also included 10 columns around the structure to represent the seven victories the U.S.S. Cod had in World War II and the three wartime generals who commanded it.”

The graduating senior plans to study architecture this fall at the University of Texas at Austin. 

“This competition was a great way to gain experience in the field and prepare me for future learning in the career,” he said. 

Byrd is the second CCTE student in a row to win the national competition. Last year, Isaac Vela won top honors. 

Principal Matt Farley credits the program’s success to the students and teacher Cecilia Orozco’s hard work and passion for design.

“Having two national winners in a row shows how wonderful the program is,” he said. “We have students who come with a strong work ethic and skill set. Combine that with a highly technical and inspiring teacher with a passion for architecture and design. It’s a recipe for success.”

Farley’s proud of the Braeden’s national recognition and what it means for his future. 

“Braeden is a great example of a motivated kid who knows what he wants to do in his life and has his taken 12 years of education and applied it,” he said. “The local, regional and national recognition and money he was awarded will help him pursue his dream.”

Story by Reneé De Santos