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Campus in miniature unveiled




Fort Hays State University is growing, both in students and in new buildings.

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Fort Hays State University is growing, both in students and in new buildings.

But it's looked just as good on a miniature scale the last few weeks. A scale model of the campus has caught the attention of passers-by while on exhibit at Memorial Union.

The 8-by-11-foot model officially was presented to the university in a ceremony Wednesday morning in the union. Dave Van Doren, owner of Global 3-D Arts, 205 E. Seventh, and his wife, Cathy, made the presentation.

The model, which has an estimated value of $60,000, took approximately three years to build. Van Doren is glad to have the project finished close to the time of FHSU President Edward H. Hammond's 25th year at the university.

"It's a relief to be at this point," he said. "It was a good time because of Ed's 25th year, and because of all the new buildings we were able to add.

"It was a good time to wrap it up for this time and look forward to updating it as time goes along."

According to a news release, the interactive 3-D model depicts the entire campus, including building projects that are under construction or in planning stages. An integrated computer monitor allows viewers to select from a menu of campus buildings. When a selection is made, the building in the model lights up and information about that building is displayed on the computer screen.

"This model will serve as a tool for recruiting students and faculty, as a way of orienting prospective students and their parents to campus, as a conversation starter for visiting alumni, and for our staff to visualize long-range campus improvements," Hammond said in the release.

The buildings in the model are made of laser-cut plastics based on precise drawings provided by FHSU. Nearly 1,000 photos of the campus and buildings were used for reference to ensure accuracy, the release said. The model was built to a 1:500 scale.

"This has one of the most detailed modeling of all," Van Doren said, comparing the FHSU model to other company projects. "If you get up close to the building, it looks like a photograph. It looks like you're flying over campus."

The model will be at the Memorial Union until homecoming, when it will be moved to its permanent home on the main floor of Forsyth Library.