CWU construction management students reap honors at prestigious regional competition

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University construction management students earned high honors at this year’s Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) 2011 Student Competition and Construction Management Conference. The 24th annual event was held last month in Reno, Nev.

CWU teams placed third in both the Commercial Construction and Multi-Family projects categories from among participating teams in the Far West region, comprised of schools from Washington, California, Hawaii and Oregon. Student knowledge and skills were put to the test in areas involving estimating, project management, safety, logistics and oral presentation.

“The competition this year was very tough and I’m proud of the way our students really rose to the challenge,” said CWU construction management professor Bill Bender, the Commercial Construction team’s coach. Its members included Tela Gilge and Jake Kelsey, from Renton; Sari Gudwin, Santa Fe, N.M.; Justin Pritchett, Spanaway; Josh Roeter, Chelan; and David Rothnie, Fall City. Jeff Bird, Puyallup, was the team’s alternate.

The Multi-Family team was coached by professor Dave Carns, CWU’s construction management program coordinator, whose members include Craig Almont, from Tonasket; Kelvin Crockford, Washougal; Jacqueline DeRuyter, Sunnyside; Sam Fowler, Redmond; Jesse Galligan, Port Orchard; and Jeremy Winter, Tacoma. Caleb Boston, Sedro Woolley, was the team’s alternate.

Central received $500 for each third place finish. Those funds will support the construction management program and the teams who compete next year in Reno.

In addition, Almont won the “Outstanding Presenter” award from Morley Builders. This award goes to only one of more than 50 students who present their project before a panel of judges from Morley Builders.

ASC is an international association representing academic and industry professionals interested in advancing construction education. It’s organized into seven regions in the U.S. and two international regions, one for international institutions and one for industry professionals. Leading companies sponsor the annual student competition and provides the winning cash awards.

“Central could not participate in a competition of this magnitude without dedicated students and the support of our local industry professionals,” said Bender, extending thanks to Granite Construction, Gary Merlino Construction Company, Sellen Construction, Belsaas and Smith Construction, Inc., Thayer Excavating and Walsh Construction for helping prepare CWU student for the competition.

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