Editor’s Note: This is the fourth article in a series that will spotlight student organizations within the LSU College of Engineering.
Construction management senior Brent Jones and his team recently placed third in the Quality Control/Quality Assurance division of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Management Competition.
According to the ABC website, the contest is designed to “challenge construction knowledge, time management, organizational and presentation skills.” This year’s event hosted more than 30 teams from universities across the country. The national competition is an annual event that the Construction Student Association (CSA) participates in each year.
“The first time you compete in it is considered one of CM’s required Industry Emphasis Area electives, and you can gain three hours towards your degree,” said Jones, who serves as the group’s president. “CSA and our local ABC chapter sponsors our team and donates money for travel expenses.”
At this year’s competition, teams were required to create a proposal for the Fort Collins Discovery Museum in Fort Collins, Colorado. Prior to the day of the event, the team was tasked with planning every aspect of the pre-construction and construction project. They also were to arrive prepared to adjust their work based on changes to the project, such as site logistics. The LSU CSA team members included Jones, Tyler Guidry, Lief Chou, Blayton Cormier and Ben Ballex.
“We were sent the plans and specifications for the museum that were the original documents from when it was actually built,” Jones said. “From there, we had to estimate the total cost of the construction activities, put together a complete schedule for the project, create a site specific safety plan, and assemble a quality control/quality assurance plan.”
Once the team completed those steps, they then put together a final bid proposal to submit to the judges as if they were an actual construction company. After the team finalized their proposal for the Fort Collins Discovery Museum, they submitted the project for review. CSA’s team, among the 10 finalist teams chosen to present their proposals verbally, earned their third place prize in Quality Control.
This competition is just one facet of the programming CSA offers to its members. The organization currently has 210 members, the largest in the history of the association, and meets once per month.
A different construction company hosts every meeting, as well as a social, at a local restaurant. There, students are able to meet and mingle with employees from the company.
“This is a great opportunity for students to talk to employees, and even owners, of companies they could potentially work for in a laid-back environment without the pressure normally associated with this,” Jones said.
The organization also hosts bowling nights, a crawfish boil and an annual spring banquet. Jones, who started his involvement with CSA as a volunteer on the banquet committee, said the spring banquet gives students a chance to meet members of the construction industry and to have a good time.
“The banquet will be at Boudreaux’s on Government, an incredibly nice venue, and a ticket will get you a seat at a table with one other student and eight members of the industry, as well as a delicious meal,” Jones said.
CSA also provides service opportunities to its members. It is currently organizing a community service event with Habitat for Humanity for the spring semester.
The association’s mission is to connect students with their peers and members of the construction management industry to enhance their education and aid them in their hunt for employment.
Students who are interested in becoming members should attend a meeting to get more information, Jones suggested, and then become more involved from there.
“Talk to one of the officers about possibly joining the banquet committee or becoming a social chair,” Jones said. “These are the best starting off positions to learn about the inner-workings of CSA.”
For more information or to have your student organization featured in the series, please contact communications assistant M.B. Humphrey at 225-578-5660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.