Silver lining to last year’s wind storm turns out to be student’s design for 4-H building

Austin Garde designed this blueprint, which was part of a presentation in front of the 4-H Fair Board on Tuesday evening, Feb. 19.
Austin Garde designed this blueprint, which was part of a presentation in front of the 4-H Fair Board on Tuesday evening, Feb. 19. Graphic provided.

They say every cloud has a silver lining.

The storm cloud here passed through in June of 2012, bringing a large tree down upon the goat and sheep building at Hier's Park just weeks before the 2012 4-H Fair.

The collision was, at first, a setback.

But this week, the cloud's silver lining has grown apparent as Huntington North High School senior Austin Garde's blueprints for the proposed new FFA pole barn were presented to the 4-H Fair Board.

After the debris from the fallen tree was removed, more room was available to build a new pole barn, Garde says.
He explains that the FFA approached Reed Sturm, who teaches an independent study course in computer aided drafting (CAD) at HNHS, about the building plans. Sturm asked Garde to design the new structure.

It is a project Garde has been working on since October.
He says he has devoted 80 to 100 hours to the development of his blueprints.

For the past five months, Garde has worked closely with Sturm and Paris Seibold, ICE Program coordinator at HNHS, to complete his design.
Garde says he used programs such as AutoCAD's Civil Engineering Design Software and AutoCAD Inventor to create the blueprints.

In the planning stages, he visited a pole barn with Seibold and used his school-issued iPad to take photos of the barn, which Seibold says he thinks helped Garde to visualize what he was creating.

Garde says he has been busy creating a floor plan, 3D drawings, the inside of the walls and engineering the trusses for the proposed structure.

Garde says he has been interested in engineering throughout high school.

"I guess I am just really good at math and science," he says.

He says he has studied computer aided drafting throughout all four years of his high school career and plans to go on to study electrical engineering at Taylor University.

His hard work is certainly recognized.

"Great kid, isn't he?" says Sturm of Garde.

Garde's intricate building design has incorporated the needs of the FFA.

He integrated a concession stand, room for animals, storage areas and a patio eating area into one barn.

Jamie Buckland, agriculture teacher at Huntington North High School and FFA, says the building will meet all the needs of the FFA during the 4-H Fair.

"Inside the building will be our petting zoo, the FFA food booth, and an educational area," she says.
Buckland says the building will be up and ready for use for the 2013 4-H Fair.

Garde completed the blueprints as a final project for his CAD class, in turn helping to improve Huntington's 4-H Fair.

Garde says he has been involved in 4-H for "seven or eight years."

He also participated in three sports at HNHS - basketball, football and track.

He plans to continue his football career at Taylor University in the fall.

Garde says he isn't sure who will be constructing his design.

"Once the board approves it, they will take bids from construction companies," he explains.

Originally published Feb. 21, 2013.

Buckland says the 4-H Fair Board and the FFA may invite Garde to assist with the structure, depending on who wins the construction bid.

"Pole barns go up quick," says Seibold.

He has been working on residential construction in the summer months in Huntington for 35 years.

"A pole barn is not made like a regular building," he explains.

Which perhaps makes Garde's finished product that much more distinctive.

Complete caption: Austin Garde designed this blueprint, which was part of a presentation in front of the 4-H Fair Board on Tuesday evening, Feb. 19. Garde spent nearly 100 hours designing the blueprints and plans for the proposed new Future Farmers of America building, which is slated to be complete before the 2013 4-H Fair.