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Architecture Student from South Korea Wins Design Competition Impact
Fairmont State News

Architecture Student from South Korea Wins Design Competition

Dec 12, 2012

A senior Fairmont State University Architecture student from South Korea won first place in the design competition to redevelop an historic downtown Fairmont building.

The City of Fairmont, the Urban Renewal Authority, Marion County and Fairmont State collaborated on the student competition to yield design ideas for the redevelopment of the block surrounding the Masonic Temple building in historic downtown Fairmont. The contest was funded by a FOCUS West Virginia Brownfields grant through the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.

A panel of four judges—Dr. Jack Kirby, Associate Provost at FSU; architect Michael Mills; Patrick Kirby of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center; and Blair Montgomery of the URA—selected Yun Oh Kim’s design presentation as the winner. He was presented with the award on Monday, Dec. 10, during a ceremony at the Firehouse Café on Adams Street. Kim will receive $1,000 for his first-place finish. He also won the People’s Choice Award and $250 based on voting that took place at the Marion County Courthouse during the week of Dec. 3. Kenny Levick, a senior Architecture student from Pennsylvania, won second place in the design competition and $500.

Kim’s plan gave ideas for using the public spaces around the Masonic Temple, including a small community garden and the Marion County Transit Authority transfer station near the Courthouse.

“I think the citizens really responded positively to Yun Oh’s idea for a pocket park across the street and the treatment of the alleyway [beside the Masonic Temple],” said Kathy Wyrosdick, City Planner.

Levick’s plan stood out because of his knowledge of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is a green building program that is recognized across the world. His presentation focused on using green designs within and around the Masonic Temple.

Seven other senior FSU Architecture students in the Design 5 class taught by Associate Professor Philip Freeman—Michelle Brown from Braxton County, D’Angelo Castro from Oak Hill, Sherry Hamilton, Steve Kingston from Clarksburg, Atanas Medolev from Bulgaria, Elizabeth Russell from Virginia and CJ Smith—participated in the competition. Wyrosdick praised all of the students for the semester of work they invested in the project.

“There are so many great elements in these designs that you want to pick and choose from each of them,” Wyrosdick said.

The students were challenged to develop design concepts that create a dynamic, open, culturally accepting environment to assist in the redevelopment of the building and the immediately surrounding area adjacent to Jefferson Street. 

“This unique opportunity allows the City of Fairmont to showcase itself as a forward thinking city that is willing to highlight its historic architecture and its development opportunities, as well as a city that celebrates the talented students attending Fairmont State University,” Freeman said.

The student design concepts were on display in the Marion County Courthouse on Adams Street for People’s Choice selections from Monday, Dec. 3, through Friday, Dec. 7. The public voted on their favorite design.

The students gave presentations about their designs on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Public Safety Building, 500 Quincy St., Fairmont. The panel of judges reviewed the presentations and selected a $1,000 first-place and a $500 second-place winner.

For more information on the Architecture program at FSU, visit


Blair MontgomeryKenny LevickJack KirbyKathy WyrosdickCity of FairmontPhilip FreemanYun Oh KimNorthern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance CenterMichael MillsPatrick KirbyUrban Renewal Authority