Construction team finishes in top 4 in the nation


Menomonie, Wis. --- The Student Construction Association team at the University of Wisconsin-Stout received an honorable mention Wednesday in the finals of a national competition sponsored by the Mechanical Contractors Association of America.

UW-Stout was one of just four universities out of 26 in the country to qualify for the final round, held at the MCAA annual convention this week in San Francisco.

The University of Washington took first place while Colorado State was second. UW-Stout and Oregon State received honorable mention awards. All the teams made final presentations at the conference in front of about 400 owners, designers and suppliers from the mechanical industry.

“It was wonderful to see the UW-Stout team receive national recognition,” said Tim Becker, an assistant professor in the construction department and the team’s faculty adviser. “The judges told me that the team proposals and presentations were the best they have ever critiqued, making their final decision very difficult.”

Members of the UW-Stout team are Cory Bjerke of Eau Claire; Jared Duffy of McFarland; Darrel Johnston of New Richmond; Ben Oswald of Wausau; Dustin Phillips of Hayward; and Tiffany Pierce of Tomah.

Teams developed a construction proposal for the remodeling of a cafeteria at a major Denver hospital. Key proposal elements included maintaining use of the cafeteria during construction and LEED/green building components. LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design.

Mechanical contracting can include such work as installing heating, cooling, plumbing, ventilation and refrigeration units, as well as controls.

UW-Stout received a trophy and $1,000. The prize money will go to the SCA chapter on campus.

The cost of the trip was covered by the SCA chapter, which earns money when students work on construction projects in the region. An SCA chapter advisory board matches up to 50 percent of the cost of SCA competitions each year, Becker said.

About 435 students at UW-Stout are seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in construction, the only such major in the University of Wisconsin System.

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