MSU students win first place in homebuilders competition
The Michigan State University (MSU) Construction Management Residential Competition Team earned first place honors, out of 34 university teams, at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Competition.
The Michigan State University (MSU) Construction Management Residential Competition Team earned first place honors, out of 34 university teams, at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Competition, held during the International Builders Show, last month in Las Vegas.
The team is led by Ken Gottschalk, adjunct specialist in the School of Planning, Design and Construction and the group’s adviser.
The NAHB Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition is one of the highlights of the annual International Builders Show. The competition gives students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction company by completing a management project/proposal. HBI Building Careers administers the NAHB student chapters program for the NAHB.
“Congratulations to the NAHB student chapter at Michigan State University,” said John Courson, president and CEO of HBI. “They and their competitors showed a great deal of talent along with a depth of understanding of building industry management, from land development to marketing to scheduling to estimating.”
Proposals are submitted to a group of construction company executives who act as judges. During the convention, students defend their proposals to the judges in front of an audience.
“My favorite part of the MSU construction management competition team is the group of people,” said Koblar Jackson, construction management senior from Mt. Pleasant, Mich. “Working on the project was fun but wouldn’t have been as much fun had the team not been so great.”
Jackson, the site designer for the team, said the win is important to the team because it helps to solidify MSU’s role as a leader in construction management education.
“Winning was a surprise,” Jackson said. “We all knew that we had put a lot of work in and had done well, but winning first place was unexpected. It feels great to have our hard work pay off.”
The Construction Management Program at MSU is housed in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and has 175 undergraduate students and 39 graduate students enrolled.
“The best part of being on this team was the ability to take what I have learned at MSU and apply it to a real-life scenario when creating our $55 million residential development,” said Mike Damico, construction management senior from Troy, Mich. “My other favorite part was being able to compete against other universities across the country and see how our program compares to others.”
Damico was a new face to the competition team this school year. His major role was product and home design but he also helped with many other aspects in creating the proposal.
“It meant a lot to everyone on the team to be able to win first place, especially after the hours upon hours we all spent together working very hard in the Human Ecology Building,” Damico said. “It was a great feeling, winning this competition on the biggest stage in Las Vegas at the International Builders Show, where we could showcase MSU in front of building professionals from all over the world.”