News about Building Construction

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.

Concrete Work Underway for Commemorative Landmark

Students abide a blistering hot Wednesday to get the job done.

Students in instructor Franklin H. Reber’s Concrete Construction lab have built the reinforced forms for the first of three hexagonal pads that will be the basis for Penn College’s Recognition Garden outside the Bush Campus Center. While two other classes will be assigned the remaining pads, this group will return to the site next week to pour concrete. Each of the three sections will eventually hold six vertical pillars, onto which will be installed plaques duplicating the information on deteriorating bricks that now line the main campus entrance off Maynard Street.

Preparatory Work Begins on Recognition Garden

Plotting and prepping the site on Thursday morning are Michael L. Bremigen (left), horticulture technician, and Chad L. Karstetter, horticulturist/motorpool lead person.

Work has begun on Penn College’s Recognition Garden on the west side of the Bush Campus Center, a cooperative project involving General Services employees and three groups of students taught by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of construction technology. The attractive and handicapped-accessible site will replace the commemorative bricks that line the main entrance to campus – bricks that have weathered poorly and have been slowly deteriorating over the years. The information on them will soon be transferred onto plaques that will be mounted on 18 concrete pillars rising from three hexagonal pads. Students will start constructing the forms for the three pads and the connecting sidewalks on Sept. 7; the pillars will also be poured on-site. A formal unveiling and dedication at the garden (which will also include LED lighting, planters, green space and walkways) is planned for the spring.

Students’ Civic Contribution Noted in Newscast

Student builders acknowledged

A ribbon rests atop a pillar constructed by Penn College masonry students. (Photo by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies)

Penn College’s involvement in construction of the Lycoming County Sensory Garden is noted in a Newswatch 16 piece previewing this weekend’s ribbon-cutting at the Fairfield Township facility. In addition to footage of a sign acknowledging The School of Construction & Design Technologies’ contribution, Kristina Papa’s segment features Christina Dorward, a master gardener and chair of the Sensory Garden Committee, and her husband, Dennis, associate professor of construction management/building construction work at the college.

Firm Establishes Scholarship Fund for Masonry Students’ Benefit

Debra M. Miller, Penn College’s vice president for institutional advancement, accepts a check for The Witmer Group Scholarship from Roger Derr (left), senior vice president-masonry restoration, and Ken Schwebel, company president.

A Pennsylvania-based, nationally recognized masonry subcontracting business that regularly recruits graduates of Pennsylvania College of Technology has established an annual scholarship at the institution.

The fund was begun by The Witmer Group, headquartered in Mount Joy, and will generate two $2,500 awards each year to full-time students who have successfully completed two semesters at the college. Preference will be given to students enrolled in the building construction technology: masonry emphasis major who have a minimum GPA of 2.75.

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The Writing on the Wall

Words to live by

A closeup of students' craft

A handcrafted addition to a hallway in Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies – espousing “honesty,” “integrity” and “respect” – shows off students’ skills while offering bywords for the campus community. From a seed planted with faculty last fall by Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school, the idea grew into a spring project for Peter Kruppenbacher’s CCM 440 (Woodworking: Art, Craft and Design) classes. “We worked with Rob Wozniak in the architecture area to find a font that would work,” the assistant professor of building construction technology said, “and he printed out full-size templates for us to use as patterns.” Two sections of Kruppenbacher’s class worked on the letters off and on between other projects throughout the semester, helping to lay out, cut, prepare and install the letters on a wall near the carpentry labs in the Carl Building Technologies Center.

Penn College Graduates Commissioned in ROTC Ceremony

From left, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, Daniel G. Curtin, of Berwick; Craig W. Robbins, of Newton, New Jersey; Daniel H. Pulinski, of Penfield, New York; Kyle A. Csorba; of Trenton, New Jersey; and Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost.

Four new Pennsylvania College of Technology graduates experienced a second milestone during the college’s commencement weekend: commissioning as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Kyle A. Csorba, of Trenton, New Jersey; Daniel G. Curtin, of Berwick; Daniel H. Pulinski, of Penfield, New York; and Craig W. Robbins, of Newton, New Jersey, received the honor during an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps ceremony at Bucknell University.

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Historic Number of Penn College Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Seventeen first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 52nd annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three other students finished in the top four places in their respective categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held earlier this month in Hershey.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the competition. The national competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology. I hope next year we can increase the number going to nationals and continue to make the college proud.”

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Masonry Novices Explore the ‘Arch’ in ‘Architecture’

Adorned with their alma mater, Penn Staters work to beat the clock.

From Happy Valley to serious business, coaching a teammate to an ultimate second-place design.

Surveying the landscape, ready to offer assistance as the mortar flies, are (from left) building construction technology: masonry emphasis majors Gwendolyn M. Wagner, of Cressona, and Nicholas E. Mills, of Tyrone; and faculty members Robert P. Gresko and Glenn R Luse.

The stuff of selfies: After scouring the lab for a serviceable keystone to top their Gothic arch, Penn State students celebrate the stability of their handiwork.

Scurrying into position and flashing a "No. 1" for their winning amalgamation, the day's winners savor their success.

More than 40 Penn State architecture students journeyed to Penn College’s Construction Masonry Building on Monday, a yearly assignment that supplements their studio work with the practical know-how required to breathe life into their designs. Students and instructors from the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies ferried the guests among four stations, familiarizing them with technique and a variety of materials. After a break for lunch, four groups of 11 students each were tasked with crafting a project that incorporated brick, block, mountain stone and at least one archway. At the end of their Herculean 45-minute deadline, when Penn State instructor Reggie Aviles shouted, “Time’s up, trowels down!” the groups’ creations were judged – and the winners granted bragging rights for the brief duration of the semester.

Penn College Salutes ‘Women in Construction’

“Women in Construction Week” offers a reminder of the career opportunities represented within Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Construction & Design Technologies is celebrating Women in Construction Week, with multiple activities planned to highlight the women enrolled in construction-related majors at Penn College.

Women in Construction Week (March 6-12) is an opportunity for the National Association of Women in Construction to showcase women’s contributions to the construction industry.

Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies at the college, hopes to raise awareness locally on behalf of the NAWIC’s national efforts. From 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, the Carl Building Technologies Center will host regional high school girls interested in career opportunities in the construction industry at an event that will include a presentation and laboratory tours by current Penn College students pursuing construction majors.

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Masonry Student: Career Choice ‘Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks’

Anthony J. DiBucci

Anthony J. DiBucci, of Pittsburgh, enrolled in building construction technology: masonry emphasis major, wrote the initial article for a new Masonry Design Blog feature. Headlined “How I Work,” DiBucci shares a glimpse into a typical day at Penn College and a reverent perspective on his meticulous craft of choice. “I know I’m in a field that will allow me to leave my presence on the world through projects I build,” he writes. “Masonry leaves a permanent mark, and if we want that mark to be filled with creativity and imagination, we must be knowledgeable in the field in which we work. The creation of a skilled mason’s work will be there always as an enduring reminder of a human being’s need to create and build.”
Photos by Zachery T. Kane, student photographer

And to Top It All Off …

Students pour the mortar that will adhere the concrete tabletop to its stone base.

Luse reacts to the class's "level" of craftsmanship.

Hintz lays down a bead of caulk between the halves.

Who needs a lift truck with a team of students to do the heavy toting?

An impressive community project is celebrated with a photo op.

The finishing touches on two stand-up patio tables incorporating material salvaged from the original Williamsport Hospital building – including the 1890 date stones and a portion of decorative terra cotta – were completed Wednesday by students and faculty from Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies. Begun in August by students in the Masonry Principles courses, the tables were topped by two polished slabs fabricated with the help of the Concrete Construction class and attractively flecked with multicolored glass. The tables are companion pieces to another college contribution: a 600-pound welded baseball glove at the front entrance to the Hospitality Inn at Williamsport Regional Medical Center. The students were joined on-site by Glenn R. Luse, masonry instructor; Harry W. Hintz Jr., instructor of construction technology; and Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school. Also involved in the project was Franklin H. Reber, instructor of construction technology.