News about Building Construction

Bricks, Mortar Build Institutional Rapport in College’s Masonry Laboratory

Faculty coordinator Richard R. Motter, a Penn College masonry instructor, makes students feel at home in new surroundings.

About 50 architecture students from The Pennsylvania State University visited Penn College’s masonry lab Wednesday, gaining hands-on experience and a heightened appreciation of  the relationship between design and construction. The traditional spring event highlights the college’s affiliation with Penn State; emphasizes masonry’s ties to another profession; delineates a career path that women might otherwise overlook; and illustrates the tangible support of Watsontown Brick, Glen-Gery Corp. and other industry representatives who provide technical assistance and thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies for the college’s Construction Masonry Building.

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Last updated February 20, 2013 | Posted in Architectural Technology, Building Construction, Construction & Design Technologies, Students | This gallery contains 15 photos. | Tagged as |

Jonathan M. Probst Chosen as Latest ‘Student of the Month’

Jonathan M. Probst

Jonathan M. Probst, a residential construction technology and management major from Allison Park, has been chosen as January’s Student of the Month at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

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Future Landscape Architects Travel to College’s Masonry Lab

Knocking free the supporting form, instructor Glenn Luse shares a student's excitement when her arch holds firm.

A Penn State student pleasantly accepts a trowel (and some learned advice) from the industry's Ron Bower.

Faculty member Richard Motter helps a duo maneuver a block into place.

Instructor Robert Gresko offers personalized attention to students working with stone.

As their final project, teams had to incorporate all of the day's masonry material into one structure. (Photo by Glenn Luse)

A record 63 landscape architecture students from The Pennsylvania State University filled Penn College’s Construction Masonry Building on Tuesday afternoon, getting a concentrated dose of hands-on instruction. Faculty and students from the college’s School of Construction and Design Technologies, joined by skilled industry representatives, mentored the guests as they moved through five stations: brick, block, cultured stone, real stone and archway construction. The day’s agenda, which mirrors an annual spring excursion by Penn State architecture majors, culminated in an informal competition among teams of visiting students. Contributing to the tradition’s success were Glenn Luse and Richard Motter, instructors of building construction; Robert Gresko, instructor of construction technology; Byron Singer, manager of Centre Hall Masonry Supply; Thomas Smith, apprentice coordinator for Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union Local #5; Ron Bower, business agent for the union local; Fred Fischer, union steward; and Ray Worth, a union bricklayer who helped build the college’s masonry laboratory.

Turbine Project Enhances Education in Variety of Penn College Majors

Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies, assesses progress Friday.

Mountain stone climbs the exterior walls of the turbine-control building, rising to meet the white vinyl siding that will soon be installed. The 576-square-foot structure will be topped by a blue metal roof, matching another at the ETEC site.

Students in an array of Penn College majors are benefiting from installation of a wind turbine near the Schneebeli Earth Science Center south of Williamsport, both from the tower itself and construction of a related control center. Students in the two-year renewable energy technologies major are the prime beneficiaries of the turbine, which sits 80 feet above college property adjacent to the Energy Technology Education Center along Route 15. But the classes of at least seven School of Construction and Design Technologies faculty members, in curricula ranging from carpentry and concrete to masonry and electrical, are building the 24-by-24-foot building that will house the inverters and related equipment. Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school, said the site will be available to any interested major, whether within construction (such as building science and sustainable design) or in another discipline (such as a science class in the School of Integrated Studies). In addition to providing students with hands-on exposure to the college’s “green” careers, power produced by the wind turbine – just one of the alternative sources examined in the two-year renewable-energy major – will illuminate roadside signage and generate cost-cutting electricity. A solar project on main campus continues to collect data for online comparison; Bridgens said a similar website is possible after the turbine is operational.

Students Construct Picnic Tables for Natural Gas Training Site

Students in Peter Kruppenbacher's Construction Hand and Power Tools class recently built 10 picnic tables for the pavilion at the Energy Technology Education Center along Route 15.

Student-built tables await delivery to ETEC pavilion.

Seventeen students in Penn College’s School of Construction and Design Technologies built 10 picnic tables for the pavilion at the Energy Technology Education Center, along Route 15 south of Williamsport. Peter Kruppenbacher, assistant professor of building construction technology, said his Construction Hand and Power Tools class was divided into smaller groups,  each using a pattern to make part of the table. Once the pieces were completed, he said, the students formed an assembly line to finish the job. The tables, with pressure-treated legs for longer life, will be delivered by General Services next week. Four of the students displayed their handiwork alongside Kruppenbacher (second from right) in a carpentry laboratory Thursday morning. From left are Kyle A. Csorba, of Hamilton, N.J.; Ryan J. Lamont, of Ambler; Mark J. Boff, of Glenside; and Christopher R. Burke, of Fanwood, N.J. Lamont is enrolled in the building science and sustainable design: building construction technology concentration major; Boff is a residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration student; and Csorba and Burke are building construction technology majors. ETEC supports hands-on training for workers in the natural gas industry and other energy-related fields, as well as emergency-response personnel.

Brennan PSUAC/USCAA Soccer Player of the Week

Christopher P. Brennan

Junior Christopher Brennan (New Hope) was named the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and Penn State University Athletic Conference men’s soccer Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 14. In the Wildcats’ only game of the week, Brennan scored a season-high four goals and added an assist to lead the team to a 6-1 win over Penn State New Kensington. The honor is the first of the season for Brennan, who is second in the PSUAC and fourth in the USCAA in goals with 15. Overall, he has 31 points and has helped the team to an impressive 12-2-1 record. The Wildcats and Brennan, a residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration major, will next see action Saturday against Bryn Athyn College.

Industry Support Evident in Scholarships to Penn College Students

Seven students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s construction majors have been awarded a total of $14,500 in varied scholarships, a significant reminder of employers’ support for the college’s sought-after “degrees that work.”

“It is a testament to the industries that have provided funding for the educational opportunities of our students,” said Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies. “Their investment illustrates their confidence in Penn College graduates and their passion for their respective professions.”

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College Flag Brings Welcome Touch of Home to Alumni Serviceman

Sgt. Peter J. Cassarly displays college flag.

A May 2011 graduate’s Penn College Pride has followed him to Afghanistan, where he was recently photographed holding a college flag on the hood of his command vehicle. Army Sgt. Peter J. Cassarly, an alumnus of the residential construction technology and management major, is serving with the Indiana (Pa.)-based 420th Engineering Route Clearance Co. His team’s mission includes locating and neutralizing Improvised Explosive Devices, route reconnaissance and conducting presence patrols. Cassarly emailed the administration several months ago, requesting a Penn College flag for his small combat outpost. He plans to return it – along with official certification that the flag was flown in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – when he returns to Pennsylvania in February.

Concrete Class Pours New Sidewalks Near LEC Entrance

From left are students Aaron J. Workman, Travis K. Simpson, Steven D. Gustafson and Henry M. Velez.  Holding the chute are Shepard J. Wood, Vincent F. D'Esposito and Austin R. MacMorris.

Wood runs the plate compactor.

Further prepping the job site are, from left, Kory A. Fishbein, D'Esposito, Nicholas D. Gray, James J. Boylan, Wood (running the compactor) and Reber, instructor of building construction technology.

Spreading the concrete, from left, are Fishbein, MacMorris, Boylan, Simpson, Reber and Velez. Workman is standing at the rear; Gustafson is against the pole. Chad B. Gordner is leaning down at screed and Gray is closest to the chute.

Continuing a tradition of Penn College students leaving their lasting mark on campus, instructor Franklin H. Reber’s concrete construction class this week poured new sidewalks near the Hager Lifelong Education Center entrance off West Third Street. Whether designing and building the Victorian House, working on Field House construction, or landscaping and paving the Remembrance Garden – among decades of projects – students have a history of enhancing their alma mater’s appearance and providing themselves (and the greater community) with long-standing proof of their hands-on prowess.
Photos by Kimberly M. Edwards, secretary to the School of Construction and Design Technologies

Scouts Make ‘Earth Day’ Visit to Construction Lab

Students help Scouts, troop leaders assemble birdhouses Proudly displaying their souvenirs of a hands-on visit to Penn College Instructor Barney A. Kahn IV offers his know-howDaisy Troop 60303 and Brownie Troop 60142, based at Cochran Elementary School in Williamsport, visited the School of Construction and Design Technologies on Wednesday evening, working with Penn College Construction Association students and adviser Barney A. Kahn IV, instructor of building construction technology, to build birdhouses in support of their Earth Day patches. Photos by Lisa J. Caputo, secretary, School of Construction and Design Technologies

PSU Architecture Students Make Traditional Trek to Masonry Lab

Instructor Glenn R. Luse addresses visiting Penn State students Mixing a fair amount of fun into their day's work are these guests, gathered 'round their archway Architecture students assess their work prior to the judges' inspection A mason's equivalent of being painted into a corner, perhaps? Jenna Collins, a Penn State sophomore from Camarillo, Calif., cheerfully becomes a stationary part of her group's creation Faculty and industry personnel judge the students' handiworkAbout 60 architecture students from The Pennsylvania State University made their annual journey to Penn College on Wednesday, their first since the Construction Masonry Building was dedicated last year. The School of Construction and Design Technologies (with substantial industry support) annually sponsors the event, which shares with the architecture majors the hands-on skills required to turn their artistry into actuality. Glenn R. Luse and Richard R. Motter, instructors of building construction, worked with the guests throughout the day, which ended with an informal competition among student projects.
First two photos by Whitnie-rae Mays, student photographer

Construction Students Help Children’s Learning Center Prepare for Winter

Construction students build shed for Children's Learning Center The Fall 2011 semester saw completion of another on-campus construction project, courtesy of the School of Construction and Design Technologies. Students from Barney A. Kahn’s Framing Principles class, Jason E. Krick’s Building Materials Applications class, and volunteers from the Penn College Construction Association student organization worked together to complete a bicycle/toy storage shed for the Children’s Learning Center. The shed will offer a convenient location for the children’s bicycles and other outdoor toys during the off-season and at other times when they’re not in use. Photo by Kimberly M. Edwards, secretary, School of Construction and Design Technologies

Hughesville Cub Scouts Visit Penn College Labs

Joined by supportive adults and helpful Penn College students, Cub Scouts show off birdhouses assembled in the Carl Building Technologies Center Scouts get a hands-on look at thermoforming equipmentHughesville Cub Scout Pack 80 recently visited Penn College, addressing various topics including conservation, art, the environment, crafts and science as they continue their strides toward becoming Boy Scouts. “It was an incredible night in both the plastics labs and the construction labs,” said Carl J. Shaner, college health services director and a member of the troop’s Parent Committee. “Several of the Scouts are already thinking this is where they want to attend college.”

Construction Students Take In-House Road Trip for Safety Instruction

Instructor Budd L. Greevy emphasizes constant vigilance when working with heavy machinery Tyler A. Davis, a heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis major from Beavertown, demonstrates an excavator ... ... and drags a 'trench box' into place Heeding the voice of experienceIn a beneficial trip over the mountain (and across academic borders), about 70 freshmen from Penn College’s School of Construction and Design Technologies traveled to the School of Natural Resources Management heavy equipment training ground Tuesday for an afternoon of insight. Students in site-preparation and safety classes joined by construction faculty members Garret L. Graff, Harry W. Hintz Jr., Peter Kruppenbacher and Thomas J. Mulfinger got a close-up look at the multi-ton machinery they’ll encounter on the job. Heavy construction equipment technology students demonstrated a hydraulic excavator, track loader and other machinery from the campus’ earth-moving fleet, as Budd L. Greevy, instructor of diesel equipment technology, explained the job-site advantages of each. Along with discussing those benefits, he stressed the need for safety when working on or around the massive, unforgiving vehicles. “You turn them off, you turn them on. These things have no conscience,” he said, noting that human precaution is the most reliable defense against workplace tragedy. “They don’t think, they don’t cry, they don’t grieve. I can’t be more blunt than that.” Greevy and his students also demonstrated use of a “trench box,” which prevents the collapse of dirt walls onto excavation workers. The visit to the operations site was the latest in a series of beyond-the-classroom exercises planned by construction faculty. Upcoming classes will feature fire-safety and CPR instruction, Graff and Kruppenbacher said.

Construction Masonry Building Dedication


Pennsylvania College of Technology formally dedicated a new main-campus home for masonry instruction Aug. 16. The 17,829-square-foot, single-story Construction Masonry Building, designed by Murray Associates Architects, P.C., of Harrisburg, features a large, open lab area and reflects the latest in “green” technologies. Hands-on skills in stone, brick and block masonry, as well as fireplace construction, will be practiced by students in the new lab. During the dedication for the $2 million building, college President Davie Jane Gilmour and Board of Directors Chairman Robert E. Dunham finished off placement of a keystone containing the names of the college and the facility, as well as the college’s Wildcat logo.

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Last updated August 16, 2011 | Posted in Admissions, Building Construction, Events, President | This gallery contains 7 photos. | Tagged as |