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Construction Association Competes Nationally; President Honored

A team of Pennsylvania College of Technology students, representing two-year majors in the School of Construction and Design Technologies, joins faculty advisers for a Las Vegas group shot.Seventeen students from Pennsylvania College of Technology recently traveled to national competition in Las Vegas, finishing respectably in a strong field and attracting recognition for their leadership.

The students are largely members of the Penn College Construction Association, which entered two teams representing two- and four-year majors within the college’s School of Construction and Design Technologies in the National Association of Home Builders Competition held within the International Builders Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Jan. 19-21.

For more than a decade, Penn College has been one of the premier technical schools to beat, and advisers said this year’s teams eagerly worked hard to uphold that reputation.

PCCA President Brian D. West, a residential construction technology and management major from Newark, Del., was one of only 29 participants to receive Outstanding Student honors at the awards ceremony.

Students enrolled in Penn College's baccalaureate construction offerings comprised another team at the National Association of Home Builders Competition.The four-year team coached by Garret L. Graff, instructor of building construction technology, comprised six members of the student group: Erich L. Snyder, Downingtown, and Zachary T. McAllister, East Berlin, both enrolled in the residential construction technology and management-building construction technology concentration; Ryan P. Shannon, Bethlehem, business administration-marketing concentration; Michael S. Fegley, Pine Grove, civil engineering technology; and Daniel R. Sheola, Long Valley, N.J., and Derek J. Geisinger, Red Lion, both majoring in residential construction technology and management.

The four-year team, challenged to develop a piece of property in Coriscana, Texas, placed 25th in a very competitive 39-team field.

The team had to present to a panel of judges acting as investors in the property a proposal that included a construction estimate/budget, construction schedule, cash-flow projections, project management and organization, marketing and risk analysis, and environmentally sensitive construction initiatives (using NAHB’s Green Building Standard).

Four building construction technology majors made up the two-year team, which was coached by Barney A. Kahn, instructor of building construction technology: Michael E. Millan, Tunkhannock; Luke F. Bender, Watsontown; Matthew A. Johnson, Mill Creek; and Michael J. Buchalski, of West Milford, N.J.

The team was presented with a problem in which they had to provide a complete set of working drawings, a detailed materials estimate and a complete construction schedule for a home to be built in St. Louis. The goal of this team, which finished fourth in a very well-rounded field of 15 teams, was to sell to the judges their design criteria.

The two-year competition was won by Utah Valley University; Brigham Young University-Provo placed first among four-year majors.

Advisers Graff and Kahn accompanied the Penn College competitors and alternates, as did Clifford J. Jones, instructor of building construction technology, concrete and masonry.

The 2010 International Builders Show, considered among the leading trade events for building-industry professionals, featured more than 1,100 exhibitors in better than 500,000 square feet of exhibit space. The 2011 show will be held Jan. 12-15 in Orlando, Fla.

For more information about the School of Construction and Design Technologies, visit on the Web or call 570-327-4518. For more about Penn College, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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