For the second time in six years, MTSU’s Land Development/Residential Building Construction Management team has won the National Association of Homebuilders Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition.
MTSU finished first out of 40 teams in the competition, which was held Feb. 8-10 at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. MTSU, which was runner-up in 2011, also won in 2007 and has placed in the top five teams for seven of the past eight years.
“Winning this competition validates both the construction program at MTSU and the dedication and hard work of all six team members,” said team leader Paige Parham of Nashville.
“The project challenged us as students and individuals. It required creativity and, most importantly, the dedication of our construction professors and the industry professionals who spent many hours directing us toward the appropriate research or giving us examples from their own experiences, which helped us to better understand the scope of this project.”
Other team members include Andrew Ethridge and Jonathan Jones of Brentwood, Tenn.; Maverick Green of Shelbyville, Tenn.; Kelly O’Leary of Memphis; and Patrick Turner of Fayetteville, Tenn. Ethridge and Green were on last year’s team.
“Our construction management students consistently are competitive,” said Dr. Walter Boles, chair of the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology. “It is truly a tribute to our program and our students to perform so well at the national level. They are able to bring back insights and capabilities to share with fellow students and, hopefully, our next team.”
The competition is designed to let students apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction company by completing a management-project proposal, said Dr. David Hatfield, head of the construction management program.
Each MTSU team member spent 400-plus hours completing the 152-page proposal, which included market analysis, sales strategy, scheduling, estimating, infrastructure/house plans, sustainability, cash flow and a management approach for the project, Hatfield added.
In the competition, students were provided with a 22-acre plot in a flood-plain area in Huntsville, Ala., in which to develop a subdivision. Proposals had to be submitted four weeks before the competition.
All student teams presented their proposals to five construction industry judges, and judges then asked each team specific questions about their proposals.
“Many industries dedicated their time to our program,” Parham said, specifically thanking Regent Homes, Citizens Homes, LP Building Products, Regions Bank and Little John Engineering “for their guidance and support.”
“This win will continue to encourage construction industries’ support and keep the MTSU construction program as one of the best-recognized programs of its kind in the nation,” she added.
MTSU’s program is affiliated with the Rutherford County Home Builders Association, Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee, Home Builders Association of Tennessee and the National Association of Home Builders.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)