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A group of Buford High School students have drafted detailed plans for the first miniature golf course in Lancaster County.
Students in Kurt Weeks’ Project Lead The Way engineering class recently completed a project that required them to design two 18-hole putt-putt courses. Preliminary guidelines were provided by Lancaster County Parks and Recreation Director Frank Overcash, who is exploring the idea of building a miniature golf course here.
The class was split into two teams, and each team had to devise a budget that includes basic construction costs and amenities such as lighting, benches and music. They included real quotes from landscapers, cementers and other businesses in their proposals.
The two teams – Team Fore and Team Realtree – first sketched their plans and then created the golf course designs using Autodesk Inventor computer software, which is a 3-D modeling package. They took the computer-generated models and made scaled-down displays of the course.
Last week, a group of Buford High teachers judged the two projects during a special presentation and determined Team Realtree had the better plan.
Weeks said he was proud of both teams’ efforts.
“They’re learning the engineering design process and how they get their ideas onto a 3-D software,” he said. “This project pulls it all together.”
Team Realtree’s proposal would cost about $185,000 in construction. They chose not to select a theme, but to simply feature a beautiful landscape.
Their amenities include security fences, rest areas and handicap access.
Team Fore opted for a jungle theme – it’s course would feature big gorillas and other larger-than life replica animals.
Their $248,000 proposal includes restrooms, music and concession stands.
Team Fore member Eric Hawkins said it was a challenge to work collectively to accomplish all the tasks. It’s not as easy as you might think, he said.
“It takes a lot of time to get through the process,” Hawkins said.
Project Lead The Way is a nationwide program that exposes engineering to interested high school students with the belief that the experience would allow them to better handle college-level engineering coursework.
Buford High offers three engineering courses, with plans for a fourth. Students there can take a college-level final exam and receive college credit for each of the three classes.