Mar 032003
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

It was the year of the Ram in Reno, Nev.

CSU’s construction management department saw five out of six teams place in the top three of their division at the Associated Schools of Construction national and regional competition Feb. 12 to 15 in Reno.

The six divisions included mechanical, graduate, residential, heavy civil, commercial and design build.

Brad Schmahl, senior construction management student and captain of the first-place residential team, was excited about the results.

“We are obviously very proud of the accomplishments our department had in Reno,” Schmahl said. “It’s just a great way for students to learn how to do what they’re going to be doing in the real world.”

The competition forced students to rely solely upon their own knowledge about construction management.

“The toughest part is that the students are all locked in a room,” Schmahl said. “It’s all done by students; there’s no outside information.”

Participants are given an 18-hour period to design a proposal for a building, parking garage, residential neighborhood or another structure, depending on their division. Teams had to present their plan to the company that actually designed and constructed the project and were graded on their knowledge of the subject and overall design.

The competition also offered other opportunities for students. There was a career fair and internship fair, as well as the possibility of securing a scholarship.

“It’s a pretty neat thing to get to go do,” said James Vick, senior construction management major and member of the residential team. “We were really stoked.”

Each of the teams had a coach to help them prepare for the competition, as well as take care of the administrative aspect of the contest. Scott Griffin, the Joseph Phelps endowed chair in the construction management department, was the coach for the graduate team. He said the credit for winning belongs entirely to the students.

“The teams did it themselves,” Griffin said. “They did an extremely good job and the results showed.”

CSU was up against some pretty tough competition in Reno, said Amanda Portman, senior interior design student and member of the design-build team. One especially formidable team was Brigham Young University, the returning national champions.

“It was a really tight competition,” Portman said. “I was really impressed with how everybody did.

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