When a group of West Virginia University students put out a call for new landscape plans for the Agricultural Sciences Annex, enlightened self-interest might have played a part.

We spend all kinds of hours in the design studios in the Annex,said Ryan McAlister, a landscape architecture student and vice president of the American Society of Landscape Architects Student Chapter (SSLA).Our studio just got renovated, and its an amazing space. We thought it would be nice if the exteriors got updated along with the interiors.

So, McAlister convinced the SSLA to hold a design competition, encouraging students in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences to submit new landscape designs for the Annex, which is also home to recently renovated interior design studios.

SSLA members consulted with a number of WVU offices, including the Physical Plant and Parking, to get a sense of guidelines and limitations inherent in the space. They also consulted with frequent users of the building, particularly Davis College students, to develop awish listfor the buildings landscape.

The deadline for submissions was April 16. The proposed designs were judged by a review panel including representatives from the University Design, Planning and Construction Office; Roads, Grounds and Physical Plant; landscape architecture faculty; and SSLA officers and members.

First place went to the team of Corey Armstrong, of Monmouth Junction, N.J., and Jessee McMath, of Shade Gap, Pa.both landscape architecture students. Their design was intended to create asustainable, functional and aesthetic environment that welcomes students outdoors.

To do that, they added seating and tables, incorporated a dry stream bed into areas with poor drainage and proposed a variety of paving materials and plantings for visual interest.

Landscape architecture students John Torti, of Olney, Md., and Adam Jones, of Pine Grove, Pa., took second place. David Sims, a landscape architecture student from Winchester, Va., took third place.

Faculty in the WVU landscape architecture program have traditionally used sites on campus as the springboard for student projects. McAlister hopes submitted student designs will be incorporated into the Annexs landscape in the future.

The SSLA wanted to thank the Davis College and WVU for our new studios by having this design competition so that one day, the winners design and ideas can be integrated into the University Master Plan,McAlister said.

He added that the SSLA will likely make the competition an annual event, choosing different campus and off-campus locations.