News about Building Construction

New Penn College Video Showcases Inspirational Masonry Student

The inspirational story of a building construction technology: masonry emphasis major is explored in the latest video added to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s YouTube Channel.

The nearly four-minute video highlights the associate-degree major through the experiences of Nicole Reyes-Molina, of Lancaster.

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Penn College General Services Employees Support Scholarship

Don Luke

Employees in the General Services department at Pennsylvania College of Technology are supporting a scholarship established by one of their own.

After hearing President Davie Jane Gilmour announce the Penn College Scholarship Campaign at an all-college meeting in August, Don Luke, facilities supervisor and a General Services employee since 1990, began thinking about his tenure at the institution, the career opportunities extended to him, the quality of benefits he and his family enjoy, and the satisfaction of helping students financially so they can achieve their dreams.

As a way of giving back to the college, Luke decided to start a scholarship that he – and his fellow General Services employees – could support. Luke made a payroll-deduction pledge to start the Penn College General Services Scholarship, which will benefit students in majors who could eventually work in General Services. The payroll-deduction option allows Luke to make his gift in a budget-friendly fashion.

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Construction Dean Helps Campus Youngsters Build a Memory

Visitors check out the structural integrity of students' construction work – including an assessment of whether the roof is sturdy enough "to hold Santa Claus."

With the dean's assistance, each of the children donned the requisite eye protection and operated a power screwdriver. Morgan Hersh (whose father, Michael J., is assistant director of student activities for programming and Greek life) shows skill and determination in assembling a souvenir toolbox.

Gathering around their mentor, members of the class proudly display their woodworking success.

Seven youngsters from the Dunham Children’s Learning Center toured a Penn College carpentry lab Thursday morning, learning about the literal tools of the trade and assembling mementos to take back to their classroom for paintbrush personalization. Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies, acquainted his guests with a variety of topics – including rafters, drywall, forklifts, staircases and (always) safety – and helped them build toolboxes as a lasting reminder of their visit.

Penn College Students Fare Well Amid High-Profile Competition

Students from construction majors and several other disciplines skillfully represented Pennsylvania College of Technology during competition at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show recently held in Las Vegas.

A team of students from four-year majors finished 12th out of 31 schools in the HBI Residential Construction Management Competition, and their two-year counterparts captured ninth place in a field of 16. Entrants representing universities, community colleges, high schools, and career and technical schools take part in the annual competition, in which students solve real-life residential construction problems and present their solutions to a judging panel of industry experts.

“Our four-year team had its best finish as far as anyone can remember,” said Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology and co-adviser. “I was completely happy with the results. The students worked so hard, and we made a great showing at the competition. Even the judges made comments about how well we improved over last year.”

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Longsderff Named PSUAC ‘Pitcher of the Week’

Joshua E. Longsderff

Penn College baseball player Joshua E. Longsderff, a residential construction technology and management major from Columbia, has been named the Penn State University Athletic Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week for the period ending March 31.  Longsderff threw a complete-game shutout against Penn State Mont Alto in his sole appearance of the week, allowing only seven hits and two walks.  He captured one strikeout in the 2-0 win. So far this season, Longsderff has a 2.65 ERA with seven strikeouts and a .269 opposing batters’ average.  His ERA ranks him third in the PSUAC.  His efforts have helped Penn College to 4-0 record in the conference and a 7-6 overall record.  Longsderff and the Wildcats get back into action when they travel to Penn State Greater Allegheny on Thursday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

On This Long-Awaited ‘Green’ Project, Knowledge IS Power

Wiring the wind turbine are, clockwise from left, Sam Courtney, installation supervisor for Wind Turbines of Ohio, LLC; Jon W. Hart, instructor of building automation technologies/HVAC electrical; and Paul T. Jordan, a renewable energy technologies major from Williamsport.

Sam Courtney checks the readout on the controller, inside a building adjacent to the 80-foot turbine tower, with Wayne E. Gebhart, assistant professor of electrical technologies/occupations.

The turbine near the Route 15 entrance to the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, about 10 miles south of Penn College's main campus, spins in the wintry wind.

After a few wiring connections, the flick of a switch, some last-minute adjustments – and a helpful blast of winter wind across the White Deer Valley – Penn College’s turbine became operational Thursday. The morning’s achievement was several years in the making, beginning with a 2010 U.S. Department of Energy grant through The Pennsylvania State University. Students from the college’s two-year renewable energy technologies major will draw primary benefit from the turbine, which is near the Route 15 entrance to the Schneebeli Earth Science Center and begins to generate power when wind speed hits 7-9 miles per hour. (Thursday’s current, which provided a timely nudge shortly after the turbine’s approval for use, was expected to hit upwards of 20 mph.)  Other majors from the School of Construction and Design Technologies – carpentry, electrical and masonry, among them – helped with installation of the wind turbine, erecting the 24-by-24-foot support building and hooking up the equipment that converts raw, natural energy into usable electricity.

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