News about Building Construction

Where Child’s Play Meets Meaningful Work

With a work ethic befitting her T-shirt (which reads “Try to Keep Up”) a girl lays brick after brick.

A child smooths yellow-dyed concrete to cast a stepping stone.

“Jordan B.” carefully adds a brick to an archway. Twenty of 20 arches built throughout the morning remained intact when the wooden form was extracted.

Girls who didn’t hesitate to get their hands dirty share a sandy high-five.

After a morning of hands-on learning that would make any parent proud, the group gathers for a photo.

A group of more than 35 youngsters gathered in the Construction Masonry Building on Thursday for Penn College’s celebration of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Before spending the afternoon shadowing their parents, the children learned about careers in masonry, courtesy of the School of Construction & Design Technologies. With help from a legion of students, faculty members Glenn R. Luse, instructor of construction masonry, and Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, taught the visitors to make colored concrete stepping stones, lay a straight and sturdy wall of brick, artistically apply stone to a wall, and construct gravity-defying brick archways. Following cleanup and the distribution of certificates in the CMB by dean of construction and design technologies Marc E. Bridgens, student ambassadors led the group on a tour of campus before they headed to lunch in the Capitol Eatery. The event is sponsored by the President’s Office and Human Resources.

Penn College Students Help Build Better Community

Gwendolyn M. Wagner (left) and Katherine L. Mertes (right foreground), both interviewed for broadcast – work with classmates at Calvary Baptist Church.

Proudly exhibiting their community service are (front row) Mason M. Miller, of Chambersburg, and Luse; (middle row) Nicholas J. Hufnagle, Williamsport; Mertes, Williamsport; Alexander J. Kosylo, Pittsburgh; William M. "Billy" Johnson, Glen Mills; Shane A. Hines, Clymer; Austin N. Moscariello, New Columbia; and Wagner, Cressona; (back row) Joseph N. Prigmore, Virginia Beach, Va.; James G Vile Jr., Sheffield; and Weston P. Buck, Woodland.

A view from the top

Students from the School of Construction & Design Technologies’ Concrete Construction class (BCT 238) traveled to Calvary Baptist Church this past week, completing a project begun last fall and attracting the attention of a passing television reporter. WBRE’s Cody Butler stopped by the Washington Boulevard church, where instructor Glenn R. Luse’s masonry students built two 20-foot-long brick and block planters at the main entrance. The planters were covered for winter and students of Harry W. Hintz Jr., instructor of construction technology, completed the project this season. “We fabricated and installed colored and polished concrete copings (caps) on top of their brickwork.  This spring, the concrete class visited the site and made wood templates … of the planters, returned to our lab and duplicated the precise shape of the planters (by) snapping chalk lines on the floor,” said Hintz, an instructor of construction technology. “We then divided the shapes into manageable sections, fabricated forms, installed glass chips and reinforcing steel inside the forms, ordered a very specific concrete mix with color from Centre Concrete, placed and finished the concrete, removed the forms and polished the finished tops with four different wet-sand diamond grit pads, sealed the final pieces and installed them April 5 on top of the brickwork.” Butler’s report, which aired during evening newscasts, has been posted to PAhomepage.com.
Photos by Luse and Hintz

Alumni Sweethearts Enjoy VIP Service on Campus

As winners of the sixth annual Alumni Sweethearts contest at Penn College, Robert and Megan (Miller) Brightbill enjoyed an overnight stay in the college’s Victorian House and dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

Two graduates who work as educators in Harrisburg returned to their alma mater recently as Pennsylvania College of Technology’s 2017 Alumni Sweethearts.

Robert A. and Megan L. (Miller) Brightbill said they were treated like VIPs during their visit, which featured an overnight stay in the college’s Victorian House and dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant as winners of Alumni Relations’ sixth annual Alumni Sweethearts contest.

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High School Girls Encouraged to Explore Careers in Construction

Construction management major Lauren S. Herr, of Lititz, is among the organizers and mentors for Penn College’s March 20 “Framing Your Future” event for high school girls.

High school girls who want to explore opportunities in the construction industry are invited to a “Framing Your Future” event on Monday, March 20, hosted by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

The day – open to young women in grades nine through 12 – will kick off at 9 a.m. in Penn’s Inn, on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center.

Female students will acquaint participants with the construction-related majors available at Penn College, followed by an Etiquette Luncheon, at which industry mentors will introduce each table of girls to networking and proper dining in a business atmosphere. The afternoon will conclude with a panel of women representing current students, alumnae and industry, followed by a virtual field trip to a construction site before the day wraps up at 3 p.m.

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2017 ‘Sweethearts’ Chosen From 11 Alumni Couples

This year's Alumni Sweethearts: Megan L. (Miller) and Robert A. Brightbill

Congratulations to Megan L. (Miller) and Robert A. Brightbill, winners of Penn College’s 2017 Alumni Sweethearts contest. The Harrisburg couple met at Penn College in the early ’90s and have been married for 22 years. Robert is a 1992 building construction technology graduate and Megan earned dental hygiene degrees in 1993 and 2001. As part of the sixth annual Sweethearts contest, the Brightbills received 292 votes (or “likes”) for their photo on Alumni Relations’ Facebook page. Ten other couples vied for the honor. Megan and Robert will return to campus soon to enjoy dinner for two in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant and an overnight stay in The Victorian House. Watch PCToday for more coverage of their visit to campus.

Jordan M. Scott Chosen as ‘Student of the Month’

Jordan M. Scott

Jordan M. Scott, enrolled in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration, has been chosen as the January “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

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College Honored for Role in Students’ Building-Code Certification

ICC

Two groups of Pennsylvania College of Technology students were recently on hand when the School of Construction & Design Technologies was honored by the International Code Council for participation in the Certification of Achievement program, which puts a recognized career-building tool into the hands of construction-related majors.

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Students Perform Well in Prestigious Builders’ Competition

Members of the two- and four-year Penn College teams gather outside the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. From left are Carlos Rojas, Williamsport; Nicholas D. Gieger, Dingmans Ferry; Chad W. Hawkins, Williamsport; Robert G. Jackson III, Butler; Casey L. Grim, Red Lion; Hanna J. Williams, Marion, N.Y.; Everett B. Appleby, Wilkes-Barre; Jordan M. Scott, Cogan Station; Lindsay A. Lane, McKean; Ryan Z. Zwickle, Slatington; and Liam R. McGarvey, Cogan Station.

A pair of teams comprising students from construction-related programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology admirably met the challenge of competition at the recent National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida.

A team representing associate-degree majors placed fifth in a field of 15 entrants from across the country in the Residential Construction Management Competition, and their colleagues from bachelor-degree majors finished 16th out of 35 institutions.

“The teams worked all of the fall semester on the problems given to them,” said Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology, noting that competition preparation is undertaken 100-percent outside of students’ class time. “The problems typically are future, real-world projects within the construction industry.”

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WVIA to Rebroadcast Series Episode on ‘Green’ Careers

"Working Class"

Working Class: Build and Grow Green,” the second episode of a Telly Award-winning series co-produced by Penn College, will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Thursday on WVIA. The hourlong documentary invites consideration of a range of options by those looking into “green” careers, exploring opportunities such as architecture and sustainable design; building construction and construction management; building automation; electrical technology and power generation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; forestry; and horticulture. The episode can also be viewed on the series’ comprehensive website, which additionally features a producer’s blog, video segments, K-12 educational resources and an art challenge.

PCCA, Visiting Scouts Build Rapport in Carpentry Lab

Building construction technology major Michael J. Deragon, of Fort Washington, helps Joey Boler Santoyo with a keepsake toolbox. The boy is the grandson of Stanley G. Boler, who retired in 2012 from the electronics and computer engineering technology faculty; his mother, Amanda, is a 1998 graduate in legal assistant-paralegal.

Whitmyer, who is also an assistant coach for the Wildcat baseball team, helps a young carpenter channel his determination.

Near the end of a successful evening, students and visitors gather for a commemorative photo.

Helping a Cub Scout get the job done is Alexander J. Kosylo, of Pittsburgh, enrolled in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration.

James C. Feingold (left), of Freehold, N.J., a residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration student, helps Steven C. Fox and son. The elder Fox is a Penn College alumnus, graduating in 2008 with an associate degree in electromechanical maintenance technology.

The Penn College Construction Association mentored Pack 24 from Muncy on Monday night, helping the Cub Scouts assemble birdhouses and toolboxes in the hands-on environment of the School of Construction & Design Technologies. With guidance from Cub Master Stephen D. Puzio and Barney A. Kahn IV and Levon A. Whitmyer, instructors of building construction technology, the students worked with the Scouts to safely craft their handmade souvenirs. Before the youngsters and chaperones left, take-home treasures proudly tucked under their arms, they toured instructional space in the Carl Building Technologies Center.

Architecture, Construction Students Apprised of Certification Opportunity

Jim Ellwood meets with students in one of Rob A. Wozniak's Codes, Specifications and Estimating classes.

Students in Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies recently had the opportunity to meet Jim Ellwood, educational liaison for the International Codes Council, who visited Building Code-based classes taught by Rob A. Wozniak and Harry W. Hintz Jr. Ellwood introduced students to the ICC certificate opportunity that he started a few years ago while maintaining his other role as a plans examiner.  His goal is to better prepare the upcoming workforce to better understand and use Building Codes. Working with both high schools and colleges, Ellwood travels on his days off to promote use of ICC’s International Residential Code and International Building Code, along with companion study books. Hintz, an instructor of construction technology, has students studying the IRC, and Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology, has students studying the IBC. By the end of the semester, both groups will have the opportunity to take the test that Ellwood provides. If students pass, they will receive the ICC certificate – another resume-building tool that Penn College students have over competing graduates. While other institutions have inquired, Ellwood mentioned that the college is one of only three in the nation currently involved in this training.
Photo by Wozniak

Second Group of Concrete Wedges Rises at ‘Garden’ Site

Reber's class fills the forms for one of 18 upright pillars that will hold plaques of recognition.

An earlier pour shows the configuration of wedges atop a geometric pad.

The Campus Center roof provides a perfect "big picture" vantage point.

Another set of vertical walls for Penn College’s Recognition Garden was erected this week by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of construction technology, and students from one of three classes working on the project. Using Centre Concrete’s conveyer truck just west of the Bush Campus Center, the group (which also built the wooden forms) poured the second of three units that will hold commemorative plaques. The site, to be dedicated in the spring, is a successor to the inscribed bricks that line the Hagan Way entrance to main campus.
Photos by Andrew M. Richardson, General Services clerk of the works/construction manager

Masonry Students Repair Weather-Beaten Planters at Local Church

Gwendolyn M. Wagner, of Cressona, a building construction technology: masonry emphasis student, concentrates on the task at hand.

Penn College at work!

The job site: a venerable landmark in Williamsport's East End

A brief pause in action to oblige a passing photographer

Nicholas E. Mills, of Tyrone, signals his workplace satisfaction. Enrolled in building construction technology: masonry emphasis, Mills earned a residential builder degree in May.

In yet another visible and lasting community example of Penn College know-how, a group of construction students is rebuilding two composite wall planters at Calvary Baptist Church in the city. The Advanced Masonry Principles class was asked by Daniel W. Yoas (a member of the Calvary congregation and a Penn College faculty member) to reconstruct the planters near the sanctuary door at 42 Washington Blvd. “What a blessing to have these opportunities,” said Glenn R. Luse, instructor of building construction masonry. “The students could observe how masonry structures can fail due to lack of maintenance. In this case, the planters were exposed directly to years of hard winters with no protection.” The brick-and-block planters split apart, and students are rebuilding them – while paying close attention to matching the brickwork of the original structure.

Penn College/WVIA Documentary Explores Green Career Options

“When you’re in high school, and you’re thinking about a career, you could think about what’s just going to make you a lot of money, or you could think about something that you’re going to be happy doing for the rest of your life.”

This advice, from a Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate working at one of the world’s great gardens, is offered in “Working Class: Build & Grow Green,” an hourlong documentary premiering Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. on WVIA Public Media.

The second episode of a Telly Award-winning series produced by Penn College and WVIA, “Working Class: Build & Grow Green” invites viewers to consider a wide range of options available to those who are considering “green” careers, which support wise use of natural resources.

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Concrete Pour Brings ‘Garden’ Project Closer to Completion

As concrete flows down the chute into reinforced forms constructed last week, students scramble into action in this view from the Campus Center roof.

Franklin H. Reber adds to his Concrete Construction students' hands-on instruction through a keen eye sharpened by years of field experience.

The School of Construction & Design Technologies vehicle provides an apt backdrop for the bustling jobsite, where students polish their skills today while leaving a landmark for years to come.

Students and mentor use a variety of tools to spread and smooth the concrete during Wednesday's pour.

The project will eventually tie all three pads into a singular commemorative space.

Students poured the first of three concrete pads Wednesday for Penn College’s Recognition Garden, under construction on the Bush Campus Center lawn. The project – a collaboration of faculty, students and General Services staff – is a successor to the honorary and memorial bricks that border the main entrance to campus. The second pad will be poured Friday and the third on Monday; students will then start constructing forms for the 6-foot vertical concrete wedges that will hold the commemorative plaques.