CSU, Chico News

Construction Management Students Win Championships at Annual ASC Student Competition

Date: 02-26-2008

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Lori Brown
Construction Management

California State University, Chico Department of Construction Management students took home honors at the prestigious 21st Annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Student Competition, Feb. 13-16 at Sparks, Nev.

From among 34 universities representing over 900 students and 15 states, CSU, Chico construction management student teams garnered a third place national championship in the Marine Construction Division and a third place regional championship in the Design/Build Division.

In addition to the two teams that placed, seven other teams from CSU, Chico competed, including teams in the divisions of Heavy Civil, Multi-Family, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Building Information Modeling (BIM), Commercial, Pre-Construction, and Mechanical. Construction management faculty advisors were Lori Brown, Denny Gier, Doug Chelson, Chris Souder, Willem Kymmell, Mark Maybee, Joel Arthur, Kris Knapp and David Shirah.

“Participating in any of the team competitions is an honor in its own right, and coming home with a national third place in the Marine Division and a regional third place in the Design/Build Division is just great”” said Lori Brown, chair of the Department of Construction Management and this year’s director of the ASC Student Competition. “It’s a real tribute to all our CM teams’ and faculty coaches’ hard work and the quality of their education.”

During the grueling competition, students are given 24 hours to map out the process a construction firm would go through—developing work schedules, estimates, bids and other tasks—on an actual construction project, and then present it to a team of expert judges.

Some of the other universities represented in the competition were Oregon State University, University of Washington, Stanford University, University of Southern California, Brigham Young University, Colorado State University and Arizona State University.

The marine problem for the national competition was to estimate, schedule and evaluate subcontractor quotes and develop a bid for the renovation of an existing U.S. Navy facility in Puget Sound. Each team was given a set of plans and specifications, subcontractor quotes, productivity rates, labor rates, material unit costs, contract, general conditions and bid forms. The Chico marine team’s project bid was based on their overall project estimate, a realistic construction schedule, bid review presentation and overall understanding of the scope of work.

This is the first time in CSU, Chico’s history that the construction management department has won in the Marine Construction Division’s national competition. “It is a very tough competition,” said Denny Gier, advisor to the successful team. “This year’s marine team really gave a ‘peak performance’ at the competition. They were on their game and really demonstrated their technical knowledge, communication skills, personal strength and persistence at the competition.” The Marine Construction Division is sponsored by General Construction, Seattle, Wash.

The design/build team worked on a problem which required a building design as well as a cost estimate, construction schedule and management plan. Division sponsor Swinerton Construction used an actual project they recently completed as the competition project. After the student presentations, Swinerton showed all the teams the solution that was actually built and answered students’ questions.

“This year’s competition was the largest ever in its 21-year history,” said Brown. “It is a great competition that definitely mirrors the strong competitive spirit of the construction industry.”

The event also presents CSU, Chico’s students to potential employers. More than 85 companies participated in the job fair accompanying the competition.