Construction management teams take top prize in competitions

Published 11.20.2020

Construction Management
Student News
Engineering Technologies

Associated Schools of ConstructionPennsylvania College of Technology construction management students placed first in both categories they entered at the 31st annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition on Nov. 13-14.

Each team was competing against seven other college and university construction management programs from the Northeast. Ordinarily held in Albany, New York, this year’s event was entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge necessitated the use of various technologies and systems, including Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Pennsylvania College of Technology construction management students comprising the first-place Pre-Construction team in the Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition on Nov. 13-14 are (from left): Darren L. Dreas, of Macungie; Jacob R. Stouffer, of Chambersburg; Adam Z. Hutchinson, of Greensburg; Tom A. Grates VI, of Tarentum; Danielle E. Malesky, of Biglerville; and Nathan I. Tabon, of Allison Park.The Penn College Pre-Construction team was made up of captain Darren L. Dreas, Macungie; Tom A. Grates VI, Tarentum; Adam Z. Hutchinson, Greensburg; Danielle E. Malesky, Biglerville; Jacob R. Stouffer, Chambersburg; and Nathan I. Tabon, Allison Park.

Their challenge, underwritten by Consigli Construction Co., involved responding to a request for proposals for preconstruction services for the Ford’s Theater Society in Washington, D.C. The task was complicated due to an extremely tight project site and difficult requirements associated with maintaining the historical façade of the structure.

The Heavy Civil team was comprised of captain Brendan B. Thompson, Womelsdorf; Joseph R. Dietz, Bethel Park; Seth G. Hendershot, Dunkirk, Maryland; Nathan G. Kress, Sciota; Conor B. Laraia, Chambersburg; and Charlee R. Marshall, Snow Shoe.

The marine-based project civil project, sponsored by Weeks Marine Inc., involved a detailed analysis of cost, schedule, and means and methods for installation of a new mooring for the McInnis Cement receiving and distribution marine terminal along the East River in Bronx, New York.

“Both of these projects were very technical and required the teams to push themselves,” said Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor and department head for construction management. “There were many challenges with the remote nature, but these teams overcame them and showed tremendous commitment with all the other challenges to their time and energy.”

Dreas, Grates, Hendershot, Hutchinson, Kress, Stouffer and Thompson also competed at ASC’s 2019 competition, where Penn College placed first in the Pre-Construction category and fifth in its Commercial entry.

“We were responsible to put together a detailed estimate, schedule, logistics and utilization plan, constructability review, and several other complimentary documents in just 15 hours,” Dreas said of this year’s Pre-Construction crew. “Prior to the competition, our team received little to no information on the project we were going to be creating these documents for. We received the plans and specifications for the project on Friday (the day of the competition) at 8 a.m. and had until 11 p.m. to complete all the required elements.”

“I truly cannot give enough credit to my team. They worked hard to complete the tasks, this was a complete team effort, and every single member pulled their weight. The lessons and knowledge we have received from our professors is truly invaluable. We, as students, are very well-prepared by the faculty.”

Placing first in the Heavy Civil category are (from left): Penn College construction management majors Seth G. Hendershot, of Dunkirk, Md.; Joseph R. Dietz, of Bethel Park; Brendan B. Thompson, of Womelsdorf; Charlee R. Marshall, of Snow Shoe; Conor B. Laraia, of Chambersburg; and Nathan G. Kress, of Sciota.“Speaking for both teams, it was a pleasure to go out and represent Penn College and the construction management program in this competition,” said Thompson, from the Heavy Civil squad. “We competed against some of the best construction management colleges and universities in the region; to win is a testament to what we learn here at Penn College.

“We knew we had to go above and beyond the expected scope of work. Using what we have learned in the classroom and on our internship experiences, we were able to achieve this. Being able to win both last year’s and this year’s competition will easily be one of the greatest memories in my college career. I can’t wait to see what the underclassmen are able to accomplish in next year’s competition with this valuable learning experience.”

After the teams presented on Saturday, the judging companies held debriefing sessions in the afternoon, discussing the actual projects and providing a deeper look at what happened in real life.

The event culminated in an online award presentation that evening. The Penn College teams assembled at The Valley Inn, DuBoistown, to enjoy a meal, hear the results, and to celebrate the wins and their great overall experience.

For more about the School of Engineering Technologies’ construction management major, call 570-327-4520.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call 800-367-9222.