Mar 14, 2014 7:10 PM
Chico State students basked in today's sun to start work on two Salvation Army transitional homes near downtown Chico.
Chico State engineering, computer science, and construction management students regularly do service projects. A couple of years ago they went to Joplin Missouri. But this year, the project strikes closer to home.
“Once you get all the paperwork done it's cool, it's like OK we got plans, we have papers, but you still don't feel like you really done nothing until the slabs are in, the walls start going up, the trusses start going on..” said senior construction management major and project manager Justin Besotes.
On day one, the walls are already up, forming the skeleton of two brand new duplexes that will serve as transitional housing for four families, run by the Chico Salvation Army.
The project has been a long time coming, but there's not a lot of time.
“We're trying to do this very fast-tracked,” Modern Building Superintendent Bud Shope said.
Eight days to be exact. Eight days Chico State construction management students could have been lounging around.
“You know spring break, some people go have fun-they party and do all this stuff,” Besotes said. “Framing, swinging a hammer, building buildings, that's fun for me.”
“Put a hammer in their hand and show them how to use it,” said Chico State Construction Management Professor Alan Bond.
“I’m a very nuts and bolts person,” Shope said. “I try and let them know what are the important things to focus on, what are the things you don't need to worry about? And on a fast-track job like this, what is critical path?”
And everyone on site agrees that it’s not just about the nuts and bolts, but the practice of giving back.
“We want to set a precedence with them early on as they launch into our industry, that we have the ability as construction management and as builders to give back and do good for our communities,” Bond said.
That frame of mind is being built into Emma Caswell. She's one of two student project managers and one of a few girls on the project site.
“It’s nice. I mean getting into construction management being a girl; it's a little more challenging. I think you kind of need to prove yourself more than any of the guys need to,” Caswell said.
If the progress at lunchtime was any indication, she and her co-project manager Besotes are proving themselves.
“Then it starts coming together and it makes you feel like wow we've really done something here,” Besotes said.
A media day is scheduled for 9am tomorrow at the site on Salem and Eighth Streets.
Dennis Stumph of the Chico Salvation Army said these homes “will provide recovering parents an opportunity to enter into an 18-month agreement to reunite with their families and attend classes such as budgeting, parenting, cooking, and job search.”