UA Little Rock students design hospital, school, and office building for senior class project

The Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering senior design class includes (L to R): Back Row: Ben Wells, Covy Brown, Jared Eakin, Cody Stringer, Cody Davis, Christian Turner, and Palmer Lane. Front Row: Blake Johnston, Jacob Head, Jorge Vasquez, Samuel Kincannon, Morgan Bruce, and Tommy Fenton.

A group of 13 graduating students from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering faced a unique problem for their senior design project. 

Split into three teams, each was given the same set of architectural plans for an identical, two-story building. Yet, each building will serve a different purpose in a different city across the U.S. Tasked with completing a structural systems design, construction cost estimate, and construction schedule for a one-year timeline, each group faced vastly different challenges in the design of their building.

Each team had to design their gravity load and lateral load resisting systems for different occupancies, different geotechnical conditions, and for different design loads for wind, seismic events, and snow,” said Dr. Nick Jovanovic, coordinator of the architectural, civil, and construction engineering programs. “In addition, each team had to consider local climate weather, and cost conditions to create appropriate cost estimate and construction schedules.”

Team Eads was tasked with designing an office building in St. Louis. Members include Covy Brown, Tommy Fenton, Samuel Kincannon, Palmer Lane, and Jorge Vasquez.

Morgan Bruce, Jared Eakin, Jacob Head, and Blake Johnston made up Team Robertson, which designed a K-12 school in Pensacola, Florida.

Team Shreeve consisted of Cody Davis, Cody Stringer, Christian Turner, and Ben Wells. The students designed a hospital in North Dakota.

Industry sponsors from Cromwell Architects Engineers and CDI Contractors created the design challenge for the seniors. Participating Cromwell members included Joe Hilliard, director of engineering; Mike Callahan, director of structures; Paul Timko, structural engineer; and Larry Newkirk, structural designer. Estimator Daniel Bowen and Senior Project Manager David Cooan joined the team from CDI Contractors.

During the school year, the industry sponsors meet with the students every two weeks to meet project deadlines. They also serve as project supervisors and mentors to the students. Cromwell and CDI have been industry sponsors for the senior design project for the past seven years with the goal of serving the community.

Team Shreeve came in with the highest construction cost estimate of $14.4 million to build the North Dakota hospital while Team Robertson turned in an estimate of $14.2 million for the school in Florida. The office building in St. Louis came in the least expensive at $13.3 million.

In the upper right photo, the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering senior design class includes (L to R): Back Row: Ben Wells, Covy Brown, Jared Eakin, Cody Stringer, Cody Davis, Christian Turner, and Palmer Lane. Front Row: Blake Johnston, Jacob Head, Jorge Vasquez, Samuel Kincannon, Morgan Bruce, and Tommy Fenton.

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