CSU, Chico News

Student Contractors Recognized Nationally for ‘Blitz Build’ Project

Date: 12-11-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Alan Bond, Lecturer
Department of Construction Management

Students in California State University, Chico’s chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) have received national recognition for their volunteer work constructing transitional housing in Chico earlier this year.

The campus chapter was awarded first place in AGC of America’s Outstanding Student Chapter contest, which recognizes chapters dedicated to community and public service. During their Blitz Build community service project in March, construction management students used their spring breaks to construct two duplexes for families transitioning out of the Chico Salvation Army’s rehabilitation programs.

“This is the most prestigious award that you can be recognized with at the student chapter level of AGC,” said CSU, Chico chapter vice president Jimmy Bryars. “With all that hard work of putting the Blitz Build project together, it’s an honor to be recognized.”

This marks the third time since 2009 the chapter has captured the top prize and the fifth time in as many years it has placed in the top three. In March, Bryars and last year’s chapter leaders will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to present the Blitz Build project at the AGC’s national conference.

The chapter received a $1,500 prize for their efforts.

Located at West Eighth and Salem streets in Chico, the Salvation Army’s Ann and Emmett Skinner Transitional Living Center required strategic designing, pre-planning coordination and pre-construction to complete the project in the 10 days the student chapter had allotted. In the end, the team of about 20 students and nearly 200 campus and community volunteers beat their deadline by two days to build two 1,600 square-foot duplexes. Each of the four units contains two bedrooms, one bathroom and a living area.

Students participated in every aspect of the project. They created the schematic designs, applied for the use and building permits, managed the public review process, created estimates and schedules, coordinated with local utilities, and planned for job site safety and site utilization logistics. The estimated value of the students’ labor contribution was more than $100,000.

The real reward is in “knowing that what we’re doing is affecting people on campus and in the community, and that it’s going to benefit many people and better people’s lives for years to come,” Bryars said.

Sixty-five of the 320 declared majors in the Department of Construction Management are members of the CSU, Chico AGC chapter. In November, AGC student members helped lead a Blitz Plant, placing 32 trees in two south Chico neighborhoods. Several more community service projects are planned for spring.

Learn more about the Department of Construction Management here. Read more about the 2014 Blitz Build project here.


Photo caption: Emma Caswell, junior project manager for the 2014 Blitz Build, consults plans for the Salvation Army transitional housing units built by student, faculty and community volunteers.