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Students Help Showcase County’s Beauty In 3D

Halifax County has gone 3D! Through a partnership between the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), interns in the Business of Art & Design program at the SVHEC have developed 3D renderings of Halifax County’s most notable assets.

Interns Britteny Madine, Evan Irby, Ben Scarborough and Russell White developed complete 3D models of The Prizery, Berry Hill, the SVHEC, Downtown South Boston and the SVHEC’s Innovation Center (currently under construction).

These full-scale computer renderings are fully explorable, and can be used to create digital tours for the Internet. This will allow the IDA to show the beauty and strength of the community before a prospective employer ever drives into town.

“The collaboration with the SVHEC is one of the most important things we’re doing to differentiate Halifax County when competing for jobs,” said IDA Executive Director Mike Sexton. “We can differentiate ourselves quickly with collaboration, and that’s critical to rebounding our workforce.”

The interns used Google Sketchup to create their full-scale models. Because they did not come into the project already knowing the software, the entire process of developing the 3D models was a learning experience for them as well as BA&D coordinators. 

“We want to incorporate Google Sketchup into the Business of Art & Design curriculum, and this project was an opportunity to do real research and to prove out the concept of doing that,” said Business of Art & Design Coordinator Ben Capozzi.

“This was a big learning experience for me,” said intern Britteny Madine. “As an architecture student, it was nice to come home and have an opportunity to do something that related to my major. I not only learned more about my area of study, but I also know there are opportunities for me to come home and help the community,” she said.

Madine resides in the city of Danville and came to the SVHEC through the internship program at the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research. She is a rising senior at the University of Virginia where she is studying architecture.

Madine was part of a team of four interns who worked on the 3D model project. Other team members were Evan Irby, a student in the Digital Art & Design program at the SVHEC, Ben Scarborough, a student in the Product Design & Development program at the SVHEC, and Russell White, a former dual-enrollment student in the Digital Art & Design program and current rising sophomore in the Art Program at Bridgewater College. 

Because each student had a different area of expertise the collaboration between team members enhanced everyone’s abilities.

“The collaborative environment the SVHEC tries to create is evident. It’s one of the things the SVHEC is so good at,” Scarborough said. 

Each intern came away with invaluable skills in new software technology, complex problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. All of these skills are at the heart of what the Business of Art & Design program teaches.

“Our mission is to cultivate creative human capital to transform our region,” Capozzi said.

“This was a great learning experience for everyone involved,” said Business of Art & Design Assistant Tina Morgan. Morgan managed the project and coordinated with the IDA. “Brian Hazelwood and the entire IDA staff were wonderful to work with. This project was a great thing for IALR, the IDA, the Business of Art & Design, and the students,” she said.