Atlanta metro area high school and middle school students dazzled some of the top architects and engineers with their concept of how to help save a portion of one of Atlanta’s most historic areas. The students were all members of the Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry (ACCI).

The students, who were from Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta and Hiram High School in Hiram, Ga., presented their solutions to a challenging design problem in the heart of one of Atlanta’s historic districts — Auburn Avenue. The students presented their projects in the auditorium of Georgia Pacific, one of the main supporters of ACCI.

A panel of distinguished architects, engineers and construction managers scrupulously judged the students’ work as they described how they would re-design a highway viaduct that literally split Auburn Avenue in half. It has since become a haven for vagrants and the homeless. The designs also will be presented to city planners.

ACCI, founded by Atlanta architect Oscar L. Harris, F.A.I.A. is now entering its 10th anniversary. “I never realized how much I could do until I used my imagination,” glowed Alexis Johnson, one of the top winners.

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