Students create construction plans in 24-hour contest

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For the Student Construction Management Association, hard work paid off — in more ways than one.

The team, comprised of construction management majors, recently won first place in two different contests at a regional competition hosted by the Associated Schools of Construction.

The trophies and two cash prizes of $1000 each will go toward the association, said senior Michael Green, vice president of the SCMA.

Green said he was surprised by the dual victories.

“Both teams won the competitions … it’s rare for a school to sweep like that,” Green said. “It’s also rare because we went from 10th place out of 12 [last year] to 1st place out of 12.”

In this competition, the construction students’ most important tools were their brains — given a construction project, contestants were given 24 hours to create a presentation explaining how they would construct them, Green said.

“We get there on a Wednesday, so on Thursday morning at 6 a.m. we get up and they give us a set of plans and items and we work on it all day, putting a price together, getting quantities,” he said. “At 11 p.m., we turn in a binder of our made-up company with all our info, resumes and turn it in.”

Green captained the commercial team, he said, which was assigned plans for an apartment building.

SCMA member Alex DeNigris captained the civil team, which was assigned plans for a water treatment plant.

The next day, the teams gave their presentations in front of a panel explaining why they were the best fit for the project and why they should be hired for the job, Green said.

DeNigris said the process became pretty stressful, but was worth it.

“It was definitely a proud moment to have both teams win,” DeNigris said. “It was a nice reward for all that hard work.”

DeNigris and Green said the experience was a great resume builder, which is why the SCMA can be so important for construction management students to join.

“It’s designed for three main things: It’s for students to build relationships with other construction students, to make connections with the construction industry, doing internships and meeting with construction professionals that can enhance your career,” Green said. “And the third one would be to have fun.”

DeNigris said the group hosts many activities and trips for members to bond over, including canoe trips, ski trips and touring job sites.

The association also hosts a job fair exclusively for construction management students and a golf outing at the beginning of the year, Green said.

DeNigris said being a part of the association opens many doors for students.

“[It shows that] you’re active,” he said. “And we bring in all the contractors to the students, that networking aspect. As long as you show up and put forth effort, it’s right there.”

SCMA President Bobby Gittinger said he appreciates the friendships made with members.

“It’s a cool group of guys and ladies with a different kind of thinking,” he said. “It’s a group of people with a common interest.”