Construction Management Teams Dominate Regional Competition

Student teams representing the Construction Management program, College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, brought home two first places, a second, and a third from the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) annual competition in Reno from Feb. 5 through 7. They bested 11 other western universities in the competition.

In an unprecedented achievement for the competition and for CSU, Chico, Chico's teams took home trophies in each of the four divisions of the competition. Chico placed first in commercial, first in residential, second in heavy/civil, and third in design/build. Chico teams collectively outscored all other institutions, including the University of Southern California, University of Washington, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Oregon State University, and Arizona State University.

The specific construction management "problems" posed to this year's competing teams included an airmail bulk processing plant at San Francisco International Airport; five multistory apartment buildings in Playa del Rey, California, comprising 305 residential units and two levels of underground parking; rehabilitation of an airport runway and water drainage piping system in King City, California, without interrupting on-going airport operations; and a new Air National Guard barracks and fitness facility in Colorado.

Each team was allowed 16 hours to produce a cost estimate, construction schedule, budget, cash flow analysis, and other estimates relative to their division. At the time the completed management plans were turned in, the teams' "bids" were opened and read aloud with all of the teams present. The team with the bid closest to the actual bid was allowed to pick their choice of times for making a bid review presentation.

On the following day, the teams presented 25-minute project overviews and fielded questions for an additional 15 minutes. Cara Eggleston, residential team, won best presentation.

This year's event was the largest in its 17-year history with more than 500 students competing on 90 university teams. Throughout its history, the Reno competition has showcased some of the nation's premier construction management students and university programs. Construction industry managers from many of the largest construction companies in the country also gather at ASC's Reno competition each year to observe and recruit the student competitors nearing graduation.

"It is little wonder that these industry managers were literally standing in line to meet the Chico State team members at the Job Fair immediately following the competition," said Tom Heustis, chair of Construction Management, who attended the competition with the students and advisers.

Mike Borzage, professor of construction management and regional director for ASC, commented, "I have never seen a single university achieve as much success as did Chico State's 2004 teams."

"This is what it's all about—quality education leading to extraordinary achievement. The university, the College of ECT, and the Construction Management Department were again wonderfully represented by this truly outstanding group of CM students supported by their dedicated faculty coaches," said Ken Derucher, dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology.

The faculty advisers were Mark Maybee for the commercial team, Lori Dixon for the residential team, Rich Holman and Matt Byrne for the heavy/civil team, and Willem Kimmell for the design/build team.

First place teams will travel to Florida in the late spring to the national competition. CSU, Chico's heavy civil team took first place in the national competition held last year in Dallas.

Kathleen McPartland