Brady Bender, a junior at Carroll High School, used a three-dimensional computer drawing program to create pictures of what the proposed wrestling room addition will look like at the school.
Brady Bender, a junior at Carroll High School, used a three-dimensional computer drawing program to create pictures of what the proposed wrestling room addition will look like at the school.
April 2, 2014

Brady Bender's 3D drawing of the proposed Carroll High School wrestling addition depicts the 84 by 42 square feet wrestling floor covered in black and orange mats; 88 total feet of window blocks above the mat-covered walls, to take full advantage of natural light; a 3-foot-high dividing wall between the wrestling mats and cardio training equipment; and even a sink - in case someone needs to wash up a little blood, he said.

The Carroll High School junior took on the design project for his architectural design class, prompted by wrestling coach Eric Nagl and industrial technology instructor Doug Leiting. Bender presented the completed mock-up of the addition to the school board during its March meeting two weeks ago.

Carroll Community School District superintendent Rob Cordes, who compared reading blueprints to reading Latin, said that projects like Bender's aid district decision-makers in conceptualizing a construction project while offering the students real-life experience.

Bender's biggest lesson from the project - numbers really do matter, he said.

The final project for the class is to design a house, but the students can choose their own dimensions, Bender explained. When he received the wrestling addition's actual dimensions less than a week before the board meeting, he essentially had to start over, he said.

Bender's design also depicted the coaches' office, a locker room and a storage area. He is currently working to increase the detail in those sections.

The project began as a group challenge, Leiting said, with students paired up to tackle the specs.

"Brady just took the ball and ran with it," he said.

Bender said he has always enjoyed building - starting with LEGO bricks. His interest in drafting spiked freshman year. Last semester he completed advanced computer aided design, noting his frustration with the engineering elements and his skill on the design side.

He plans to pursue architectural design at Iowa State University.

The wrestler used the Chief Architect X2 program, which the school has had for about five years. Leiting said he hopes to use some state funding to switch to X6 this year - a software upgrade that will give students' designs nearly "photo perfect" quality.

Cordes said such projects demonstrate the value of the board's continued investment in technology.

"It shows what kids are capable of doing when given the opportunity," he said.

Nagl said an initial estimate for two wrestling mats is about $31,000. But those mats will be able to stay - meaning the wrestling program can and will be active year-round by the high school athletes and the 130 members of the Carroll Cardinals youth wrestling program, Nagl said. The program currently practices in the mezzanine of the gym, a 68 by 42 foot space that is used throughout the year by the wrestling, golf and track programs.

When one side is worn out, the mats can simply be flipped over, extending their life, he added.

"It's finally our own little place," Nagl said.

Meets will continue to be held in the gym, so Nagl also recommended the purchase of a sectional mat that could be carried in and out in pieces without requiring the use of large, outdated machinery.

The school board awarded a $1,449,000 construction contract for the wrestling addition and administrative office addition and renovation to Badding Construction in February. The wrestling addition - which will be located on the southeast corner of the building, near the existing music room - is expected to be finished by Oct. 15.