Campus in miniature: Scale model with integrated computer gives visitors a bird's-eye view of FHSU

09/12/12 ks/dvd

HAYS, Kan. -- A large scale model of the Fort Hays State University campus has been capturing the attention of passers-by in the Memorial Union since it was placed on exhibit a couple weeks ago.

In a ceremony this morning, a couple with long ties to FHSU officially presented the 8-foot by 11-foot model to the university. Global 3-D Arts, a Hays company, created the model. Dave Van Doren, owner of Global 3-D Arts, and his wife, Cathy, a development associate with the FHSU Foundation, made the presentation.

The interactive 3-D model depicts the entire campus, including building projects that are under construction or in the 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.

Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, accepted the model on behalf of the university. "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," he said.

The president continued: "Not only does the interactive model depict the FHSU campus as it is now, it also shows campus projects now being built or in the planning stages. It includes the second phase of the Tiger Place residential facility that will open for the start of the 2013-2014 academic year, the under-construction Schmidt/Bickle Indoor Training Facility for athletics and the upcoming Center for Networked Learning academic building.

Eventually the scale model will be moved to the main floor of Forsyth Library for permanent display.

Van Doren talked about the nearly century-long ties between his family and FHSU that inspired him to have his company build the scale model.

"My memories of FHSU date back to the early '50s, when at the age of about 5 I followed my grandfather Professor James Start around campus," Van Doren said. "Professor Start taught in Picken Hall during his 47-year career here from 1919 until his retirement in 1961. My dad, J.P., also took me boating on Big Creek when it still snaked through campus. At that time the creek was a full-fledged stream with enough water for swimming, fishing, ice skating and boating all the way to Ellis."

He also mentioned two uncles who played important roles in the early days. Dr. Fred Albertson received his B.S. in 1916 and began teaching botany in 1918. Cal Malmberg graduated in 1929 and was actively involved in the Department of Music for about 14 years during the 1930s and '40s.

"Numerous other relatives studied at FHSU, including aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents, a sister and her husband, nieces and nephews, various and assorted in-laws and outlaws, my wife, Cathy, and all our kids, who are fourth-generation Tigers," Van Doren added. "Cathy and I hope this interactive scale model of the campus will be helpful with recruitment and orientation of students and their parents and serve as a useful tool in visualizing future campus improvements."

Construction of the model took about three years, and it has an estimated value of $60,000. The buildings are made out of laser-cut plastics and based on precise drawings provided by FHSU. Nearly a thousand photos of the campus and buildings were used for reference to ensure accuracy. The model was built to a 1:500 scale.

"The FHSU cabinet shop did a great job building the table for the model," Van Doren said. "Terry Pfeifer and Junior Fischer were a pleasure to work with and did a fantastic job. Mike Nease and Kristin Rupp in the FHSU computing center were very helpful with the computer and programming."

Van Doren also congratulated President Hammond for the vision that has helped the campus modernize and expand. "Ed has done an outstanding job of putting FHSU on the leading edge of the digital age, growing the university globally with the Virtual College, increasing the overall enrollment to more than 13,000 students and expanding the physical campus with numerous new facilities and renovations of many of the older historic buildings," he said. "FHSU is one of the best and is THE most affordable university in Kansas thanks to Dr. Ed Hammond."

Global 3D Arts is located in the Hadley Center in downtown Hays and specializes in architectural scale models, 3-D architectural renderings and 3-D animations for projects all over the United States and internationally. More information is available at:

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