2017 Student Competition

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress hosted its third Construction Management Student Competition.

A total of six teams participated: McWhorter School of Building Sciences at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; Colorado State University, Fort Collins; the Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati; and the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Auburn University — McWhorter School of Building Science, Auburn, Ala.

Team members (left to right): Turner Eastbrook, Jordan Lake, Joseph Passtino and Hunter Whitten (team captain)
Faculty adviser: Richard Burt
Alliance member team mentor: Kyle Thomas, Thomas Roofing, Mobile, Ala.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Team members (left to right): Bill Alten, alternate, Joshua Clarke, Grant Frevert, Ty Eberhardt (team captain) and Cody Ade
Faculty adviser: Nick Rubino
Alliance member team mentor: Pat Wolack, Douglass Colony Group, Commerce City, Colo.

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.

Team members (left to right): Aaron Cherry (team captain), Nate Duxbury, Blake Johnson, Erin Mitchell and Drew Bennett (alternate)
Faculty adviser: Robert Benton
Alliance member team mentor: Tupac De La Cruz, Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, La.

Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.

Team members (left to right): Terry Heaton (alternate), Aleeyah Sanders, Quinton Stewart (team captain), Rochelle Richardson and Quintez Long
Faculty adviser: Rogers Hunt
Alliance member team mentors: Bruce McCrory, Nations Roof, Mobile, Ala., and Rich Nugent, Nations Roof, Lithia Springs, Ga.

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Team members (left to right): Matt Hudak, Brian Mallernee (team captain), Daniel Kurtz and Michael Kadash
Faculty adviser: Jason Mack
Alliance member team mentor: Paul Novak, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, Lewis Center, Ohio

University of Florida — M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management, Gainesville, Fla.

Team members (left to right): Caleb Stauss (team captain), William Foster, Schaffer Weeks and Forrest Wilson
Faculty Adviser: James Sullivan
Alliance member team mentor: Rob Springer, Springer-Peterson Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Eaton Park, Fla.

The teams were asked to submit a qualified bid package for installing a roof system on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Each team was assigned a roofing contractor in their area to serve as their mentor. Auburn University was mentored by Kyle Thomas, vice president of Thomas Roofing Co. Inc., Mobile, Ala.; Colorado State was mentored by Pat Wolack, executive vice president of Douglass Colony Group, Commerce City, Colo.; Louisiana State University was mentored by Tupac De La Cruz, owner of Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, La.; Tuskegee University was mentored by Bruce McCrory, operations/business development manager, Nations Roof, Mobile, Ala., and Rich Nugent, president, Nations Roof, Lithia Springs, Ga.; the University of Cincinnati was mentored by Paul Novak, project manager, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, Lewis Center, Ohio; and the University of Florida was mentored by Rob Springer, president, Springer-Peterson Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Eaton Park, Fla.

The teams gave oral presentations before a panel of seven judges (acting as the building owner and general contractor selecting a roofing company for the project). This year's panel of judges included Mitch Bernard, project executive for The PENTA Building Group Inc.,Las Vegas; John Geary, industry consultant, Indianapolis; Helene Hardy-Pierce, vice president of technical services, codes and industry relations for GAF, Parsippany, N.J.; Henry Jojola, quality assurance/quality control manager for The PENTA Building Group,; Scott Kawulok, executive project manager for B& MRoofing, Frederick, Colo.; Todd Nathan, director of technical services for Johns Manville, Denver; and Bob Pringle, vice president of Evans Roofing Company Inc., Elmira, N.Y.

The teams were judged on the overall quality of their written proposals, project management and organization; feasibility of construction and program schedules; accuracy/feasibility of conceptual costs; quality of safety and quality control/quality assurance plans; supplemental materials; overall quality of their oral presentations; feasibility of project management, organization and schedule; accuracy and completeness of project costs; and answers to questions.

The team with the highest cumulative score was the University of Florida for its presentation as Orange South Construction. A few elements that set the University of Florida team ahead of its competitors included a thorough understanding of the project; a well-prepared, articulate and concise presentation; and well-presented safety and quality control/quality assurance plans. The team was prepared and able to answer specific questions posed by the judges. It had a thorough understanding of site logistics and schedule, as well as a strong safety plan, which included planning, training and execution.

Meet the University of Florida team:

Caleb Stauss, team captain, Orange South Construction president: Stauss will graduate from the Rinker School of Building Construction this May with a Bachelor of Science in construction management. Stauss plans to pursue a career in the roofing industry.

William Foster, Orange South Construction project manager: Foster also will graduate from the Rinker School of Building Construction this May with a Bachelor of Science in construction management. While attending the University of Florida, Foster completed two internships—one as a project manager and the other as assistant superintendent intern at two construction companies. While interning he assisted in projects ranging from new construction to renovation, managed construction processes and daily operations.

Although graduating this May, both Stauss and Foster have expressed a strong desire to remain actively involved in the Alliance's student competition. They are not sure what their exact roles may be, but after participating in (and winning) the competition two years in a row, they want to support and encourage future teams.

Schaffer Weeks, Orange South Construction project manager: Weeks is a sophomore at the University of Florida. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in construction management and a minor in both business and real estate.

This was Weeks' first year in the competition. He says he definitely plans to return next year.

Forrest Wilson, Orange South Construction safety manager: Wilson is a junior at the University of Florida. His current objective is to obtain an internship with a leading company in the field of construction management to gain experience, skills and knowledge in the construction industry. He was an FRSA Scholarship recipient in 2013 and 2014.

The University of Florida team received a $5,000 Alliance/L.B. Conway Scholarship and team trophy for the school, individual team awards and recognition in industry press releases.

2017 Alliance Construction Management Student Competition Winning Team: M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, Gainesville

Left to right: Will Foster, Schaffer Weeks, Dennis Conway (NRCA chairman of the board), Kyle Thomas (co-chairman of the Alliance Construction Management Schools Initiative Committee), Caleb Stauss (team captain) and Forrest Wilson

Plans are already underway for the Alliance's 2018 competition. The oral presentations will take place Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Morial Convention Center, New Orleans. Details for the Alliance's fourth Construction Management Student Competition will be available in August 2017.

Questions can be directed to:
Bennett Judson
The Roofing Alliance
10255 W. Higgins, Suite 600
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 299-9070, ext. 7513