First-place win among construction management success for Penn College students

November 22, 2019

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Six-member teams of Pennsylvania College of Technology construction management students brought home first- and fifth-place honors from the 30th annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition held Nov. 8-10 in Albany, New York.

Penn College topped the Pre-Construction category, sponsored by Weeks Marine Inc., which challenged four teams to handle project startup for the first phase of deck rehabilitation at International-Matex Tank Terminals’ Pier 6 in New Jersey — including allowance for delivery of materials and equipment by waterborne barge.

The college’s Commercial entry, enlisted by Dimeo Construction Co. to renovate a three-story dormitory at Providence College and connect it by an atrium to a new two-story building, placed fifth among 13 teams. That category was won by Drexel University.

“I am consistently amazed by what the students are able to produce with so little time and with only their coursework and several summer internships to build from,” said Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor and department head for construction management. “They really drill into the details and produce some amazing proposals and presentations. All of the schools are sending talented students, so to win is a great testimony of their efforts … but I also enjoy seeing them have fun with the experience.”

Penn College ASC Commercial Team 2019

Members of Penn College’s fifth-place Commercial Team are, from left, Daniel A. Rex, of Norristown; Thomas A. Grates VI, of Tarentum; Carl A. Zimmerman, of Hunlock Creek; Darren L. Dreas, of Macungie; David H. Guarriello, of Bethlehem; and Nathan G. Kress, of Sciota.

IMAGE: Penn College

In all, 16 colleges and universities fielded 28 teams in four competition categories.

Comprising the Pre-Construction Team: Seth G. Hendershot, of Dunkirk, Maryland; Adam J. Hutchinson, of Greensburg; Zachary J. Kravitz, of Berwyn; Justin L. Stanton, of Newfoundland; Jacob R. Stouffer, of Chambersburg; and Brendan B. Thompson, of Womelsdorf.

Members of the Commercial Team: Darren L. Dreas, of Macungie; Thomas A. Grates VI, of Tarentum; David H. Guarriello, of Bethlehem; Nathan G. Kress, of Sciota; Daniel A. Rex, of Norristown; and Carl A. Zimmerman, of Hunlock Creek.

“Participating in this competition gave me a great insight into the world of maritime construction, a sector of the industry which I had no prior experience with,” Kravitz said. “The logistical complexities of the project assigned to us challenged our team to think outside of the box and develop innovative construction solutions to meet the constraints and criteria laid out by the judges.”

At Penn College, Kravitz is also a senior resident assistant, a lead student development assistant, a presidential student ambassador and a member of the Construction Management Association.

“Following their impressive performance, I believe the underclassmen on this team have very bright futures ahead of them,” he said. “As for myself, being able to continue Penn College construction management's winning tradition will go down as one of the great highlights of my college career.”

That tradition includes last year’s second-place finish for the Design-Build Team, which included Guarriello and Hutchinson; and a third-place showing by the Commercial Team, on which Dreas, Rex, Stanton and Zimmerman competed.

“The Associated Schools of Construction Competition is one that requires our students to make spontaneous adaptations to several challenges when we arrive in Albany. Most of the time, we do not receive any instruction until the day of,” noted Stanton, whose campus leadership extends to positions as a resident assistant, tutor for math and construction management, and member of CMA.

“On top of this, our Pre-Construction team this year was presented with a unique marine-based project that was very specialized, so we had not discussed this type of construction in our classes,” Stanton added. “Despite this, we were able to adapt and overcome to secure first place. I can say with great confidence that, without the guidance from our professors, connections with industry and synergy within our team, we would not have been able to accomplish this goal.”

“The competition allows students to gain a real-world feel of a bid proposal. It puts students just far enough outside of their comfort zone that they are learning all day,” said Zimmerman, who also serves as CMA treasurer. “One of my favorite components of the day is getting provided a task that you may not necessarily know how to perform, and you need to be able to think logically on your feet in order to adapt and overcome.”

In addition to the ASC competition, a job fair connected students with 20 industry-leading employers.

For more about the School of Construction & Design Technologies’ construction management major, which enjoys a 100% graduate placement rate, visit www.pct.edu/cdt or call 570-327-4518.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated November 22, 2019