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PSU students work to keep big build on schedule

January 09, 2012 12:00AM

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A Pittsburg State University student is behind the wheel as a load of materials moves from a truck to workers waiting at the site of one of seven homes being built for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in Joplin, Mo.

A house is an amazingly complex assemblage of pieces. Just ask any of the Pittsburg State University construction management students who are in charge of getting materials to the seven homes under construction this week for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in Joplin.

Hour by hour, as the homes take shape, a steady stream of calls come to the staging area for materials: shingles, fixtures, siding, windows and more. Pitt State students find and load the materials. A crew of Pitt State students then maneuvers the high-loaders through the busy construction zone to the proper sites.

That smooth flow of materials is critical to keeping the ambitious project on schedule, which is scheduled to conclude next Wednesday.

"They (the staging crew) have done an amazing job," said Michael Halsey, a senior safety team leader. "A few things haven't gone as smoothly as we'd like, but we're working through the problems."

Working through those problems may have been what Justin Honey, a professor in the Construction Management and Construction Engineering Technology Department, had in mind as students prepared for the project.

"The belief of our faculty in construction is that these students will gain more knowledge in that one week than they will sitting in any of our classrooms," said Honey at the time.

If Honey is right, PSU students are gaining knowledge by the buckets full as they work day and night with building professionals on each of the seven houses, manage materials and help manage onsite professional safety for the project.

"Our students have played a much larger role in this project than anyone expected," said Dr. John Iley, chairman of Technology and Workforce Learning, who is one of the many faculty volunteers. "We're all really proud of the work they're doing. There are Pitt State students everywhere."

©2012 Pittsburg State University