Construction Management team takes first place at national competition

Story by Daniel Ricci

The CSU Department of Construction Management recently showed why it is one of the premier programs in the nation, taking first place at the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Construction Management Competition.

The CM team, including Captain Ty Eberhardt, Kyle Deuschle, Ian Rice, Darcy Wojciechowski, Tanner Atchison and faculty adviser Jon Elliott, claimed top honors at the Nov. 13-16 competition in Dallas. The event is ABC’s hallmark competition and is designed to promote careers in construction management. The competition tests teams’ project management, estimating, safety, quality control and presentation skills.

From left are Kyle Deuschle, Ty Eberhardt, Darcy Wojciechowski, Ian Rice and Tanner Atchison

Phase one of the competition started weeks ago when the 23 participating teams received an initial problem statement and a bid proposal for an $11 million medical center in El Paso, Texas. The second phase started in Dallas, where teams were asked to incorporate three addendums into the original proposal. Judges then chose the top eight teams to move to phase three, in which each team had to prepare a final proposal that was presented to the judging panel.

When CSU’s team was awarded first place, it received a standing ovation from fellow competitors.

“It was hard not to get emotional on that stage. That is a moment none of us will ever forget,” said Deuschle.

When asked what powered them to their success, the team members stressed the importance of teamwork, attention to detail and desire to always do better.

“We would go and do something and then sit down, look at it and say to ourselves, ‘We can make this better,'” Deuschle explained. “It is going to take longer and be more difficult, but we need to try.”

Rice stressed how their classes had prepared them for the event: “The competition was truly a combination of all of our classes thrown into one.”

Even before the competition began, the team began laying the groundwork for its success. Eberhardt and Rice spent the summer designing an Excel spreadsheet to help organize their bid package and cost analysis. Once they received the initial problem statement, the team worked non-stop for almost eight weeks, putting in over 1,000 hours preparing their phase one bid proposal.

They focused on combining their individual strengths to push the envelope of what the team as a whole could accomplish. As Eberhardt described it, “This was about the whole team, not just one person.”

There was also an emphasis on innovation. For example, they made extensive use of 3D software for their site plans, rather than relying on PowerPoint for their presentation, as most teams did. They also created a video presentation using Syncro, a 4D modeling software that allowed them to create a dynamic, time-sequenced depiction of the project from start to finish.

Faculty adviser Jon Elliott was effusive with his praise.

“I am extremely proud of the team!” he said. “Each member spent countless hours and many long nights and weekends in the computer lab during the preparation period. The number of compliments the team received from competing teams, judges and industry members was astounding. I am incredibly privileged to work with such talented and motivated students!”