Alyssa Tyler editor in chief
PSU construction students were tasked with building a 1,536 square foot, single story house with a crawl space for their graduation project. The seven PSU students oversaw phase 2, which is the framing and exteriors.
“We’re doing a senior project where we’re in charge of all the framing aspects and everything. From shingling and windows and doors and then we turn that over to them for all the finished work,” said Ty Bacon, senior in applied science and technology.
But before they could start that, they had many other pre-construction services they had to figure out first.
“We had to write a contract, task assignments, and we had to organize ourselves into a management system. I’m a project manager, I have a superintendent, an assistant project manager, an assistant superintendent, a field engineer, project engineer, and estimator,” said Easton Roth, senior in construction management and project manager.
While the PSU students are using physical labor and the skills they have learned while in school, they now are learning skills that can only come from experience.
“I personally am learning a lot of things as far as management goes, you know the difference between management and leadership some of the technical aspects of management as far as how much of the physical work do I need to do and how much of it is more of some of the technical aspects of management you know I delegate but then I follow up,” Roth said.
Roth compared the differences between the school of construction at PSU to other colleges in the nation.
“The industry loves the fact that we actually get our hands on a physical project. Because a lot of the management schools in the country look at computer screens and read out of textbooks on how a construction project should be done. Whereas with us we go through that we go through the computer screens and whatnot but then we implement it in a physical project. And as everyone knows you can have the best laid plans but when you actually try to do them, everything can go wrong. And so, that’s really what the industry loves about our physical project,” said Roth.
Although the experience could be valuable for future construction jobs, there are some issues that arise with being volunteer based compared to private.
“You kind of don’t know what to expect from day-to-day. You might get volunteers, you might not. Being able to regulate that and making sure you have the manpower. Then also working with people that some may know how to do framing, they may know how to use the tools and all that stuff, and then some don’t. So, you kind of got to be able to work with both of those kinds of people, which is kind of beneficial because you get a little bit of management experience on both sides,” Bacon said.