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Construction team takes second in Dallas

Submitted by Kyle Troutman on March 10, 2011 – 1:50 amNo Comment

Just a week after the MBA team took second in the Mid-South Investment challenge, a team of six construction management students placed second and won $750 in the Associated Schools of Construction Region Five competition in Dallas.

Mark Gernhart was the team’s captain and project manager and Stephanie Shank handled project scheduling. Dustin Mize dealt with contract questions, while Chris Meyer, Josh Morris and Ross Lovenstein took care of estimations.

Because their presentation portion of the competition was 30 seconds under the 15-minute time limit, the team finished slightly behind Oklahoma State University. “First, second and third were very close,” team coach and adjunct instructor Larry Blackmon said. “The only reason we lost is because our presentation was a little short.”

The other contest component dealt with estimating. The goal was to select the best sub-contractor, taking plans, specifications and materials in consideration, and creating a bid for the cost of a real-life (already completed) building project. UALR’s bid was only 2 percent off the actual project bid, just under $200,000 off a $98 million project. Oklahoma State had the second closest bid, off by more than $4 million.

To put the project together, the team was locked in a hotel room from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., giving them 16 hours to work on the problem. McCarthy Building Companies, the contractor that sponsored the competition, supplied the team with food and information on changing subcontracting prices.

Shank, senior construction management major, spent the entire 16 hours scheduling the 600-calendar-day project. “We worked our butts off,” she said. “I definitely know how to build a schedule now.”

The project took a toll on the students, most of whom did not get any sleep between the 16-hour work period and the 15-minute presentation. Nevertheless, Shank said the opportunity was one she’s glad she took. “It gives me a taste of what I want to do after graduation and it’s great experience I can take to the workplace,” she said.

Other universities that competed in the competition included Oklahoma, Texas A&M, North Texas, Texas-Tech, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech.

For more information on the competition or UALR’s construction management program, contact Larry Blackmon at

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