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Construction Mgmt team among nation’s best

Posted On : January 30th, 2012

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CMTeamSacramento State’s prolific Construction Management team has made the coveted final four in another national competition. Now it’s on to Florida to vie for top honors.

“Our CM students made the top four for the Mechanical Contractors of America Association's (MCAA) national student competition,” says Professor Mikael Anderson, coordinator of the Construction Management Program. “This competition is independent of the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) competition in which we have set records nationwide with all our awards.”

Seven MCAA chapter students will accompany Anderson in March to the MCAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. They are: Chris Fitzgerald, Steve Farshchi, Pam Ames, Justin Larsen, Cameron Harrison, Dave Mitchell and Tyler Norris.

The students in the MCAA club, Anderson and the specialty mechanical contractor industry raise the funds needed to compete and travel to local and national competition. They also attend student chapter summits and conventions throughout the country each year. Through the mechanical contractors, the students are able to get mentors and coaches from the industry to help prepare them for the ASC and MCAA national student competitions.

The MCAA competition begins with the students responding to a Request for Proposal for a specific project, and they have from Oct. 15-Dec. 15 to craft their written proposal. About 30 universities nationwide compete at this level, but only the top four written proposals are invited to the MCAA Annual Convention to perform oral presentations in front of the mechanical contractor members. Sac State students excel with oral presentations because they gain so much experience with group presentations in the CM curriculum and for the ASC competition.

“This year's project was especially challenging, as the students took on a four-story building in historic San Francisco that was built in 1917,” Anderson says. “The building served as a library for many years, but was being seismically retrofitted and changing occupancy to an Asian Arts Museum under this proposal. The dry side of the building (HVAC) was plan/spec, while the wet side (plumbing) was design-build. The Title 24 energy requirements on this building were very strenuous, especially dealing with the controls for protection of the exhibits of the museum.

“Logistics were a nightmare for this area of San Francisco,” Anderson notes, “requiring the students to think outside the box with just-in-time delivery methods. They met every single weekend and many weekday evenings from October to December to put together this proposal.”

The College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Construction Management Program has garnered so many awards that it needs a separate trophy case to contain them. That explains why Tony Moayed, one of the owners at Tricorp/Hearn Construction, is purchasing a $2,500, 6-foot glass trophy case for that very purpose. “Moayed taught our estimating classes for many years, was one of the early ASC student-competition coaches, frequently hires our grads, and puts on an annual fundraising golf tournament every fall,” Anderson says.

Anderson also praises Bill Whitney and Scott Strawbridge with the Northern California Mechanical Contractors Association (NCMCA) for helping build support for the Sac State MCAA students and providing fundraising opportunities.

“I continue to be impressed by the accomplishments of our Construction Management program,” says Dean Emir Macari. “Our College is actively working on the creation of the Construction Management Department that will have further independence and may lead to additional accolades as they continue to be wonderful ambassadors to our College and our University.”

For more information on the construction management department, visit its website.

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