CSU, Chico News

Construction Management Students Reroof Durham Memorial Hall

Date: 04-02-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
David Shirah, faculty advisor
2015 Community Service Project

HVAC Units, Other Features Installed As Part of 2015 Community Service Project

Construction management students at California State University, Chico are reroofing the 6,000 square-foot Durham Memorial Hall and installing four heating and air conditioning (HVAC) units as part of the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management’s 2015 Community Service Project.

More than 40 students, faculty members and local contractors are volunteering in the “blitz build,” which began March 27 and continues through this Friday and Saturday, April 3-4.

Besides the roof and HVAC systems—the latter of which were contributed at a deep discount by Carrier United Technologies—students are installing sound insulation, changing out lights, replacing gutters and downspouts and installing upgraded electrical panels to service the powerful new cooling units.

Located at 9319 Midway in Durham, the memorial hall is used for community fundraisers, political events and social gatherings, among other events. Durham Recreation and Park District manager Jim Brinson said for years the roof has needed replacing, but the district hasn’t had the needed funding.

What’s more, he said, the building’s swamp coolers were often unable to keep up with soaring summer temperatures, rendering the hall useless during peak event seasons.

“The quality of the roof being installed means I don’t have to worry about a new roof for years, and the insulation in there should make it so much more efficient,” Brinson said. “It’s going to make it so much more usable for anyone during the summer.”

Industry partners, including Slater and Son, Inc., Conroy Construction, Modern Building, Miller Electric, Jessee Heating and Air, Carrier and McCracken Plumbing, are providing free or discounted labor and materials.

“Our industry partners really make these projects possible,” said David Shirah, construction management lecturer and advisor to the Blitz Build project. “The students also fundraise to purchase all of the food, T-shirts, tools and other logistics we need throughout the build. It’s truly a community effort.”

An average of 25 students work on site at once. Shirah estimates 600 student hours were contributed the weekend of March 27-29, valued conservatively at $12,000.

“We take them any time they’re available,” Shirah said. “If they can sign up for four hours in a day, they can do that.”

The value of the entire project is estimated at $250,000.

Each year, construction management students plan and lead a community service project from start to finish. Past projects have included rebuilding homes in tornado-struck Joplin, Missouri; barn raising at the local Patrick Ranch Museum; building homes for Catalyst Domestic Violence Services in Chico; and rebuilding houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Junior construction management major Nathan Hill, one of two student project managers, said besides the enjoyment of giving back to the community, the reroofing project is providing invaluable student experience.

“There’re a lot of people who come to the major thinking this is what they want to do, but they don’t have any experience in it,” he said. “It’s about helping people out who want to get involved. When companies come to recruit us, it’s hard to relate to them unless you have some experience. Also, making connections and taking part in a service project are both great.”

Work begins at 7 a.m. each morning and continues until the project is complete.