Construction Management moves toward its first graduation at Kent State this spring

Abby Linville

Construction management, a relatively new program at Kent State, is a growing major that trains students to oversee and manage building projects ranging from highway to residential construction.

Unlike construction engineering programs, the management concentration focuses on drawing plans, estimating a budget and managing a crew of workers.

“Construction managers are like football coaches,” said Neal Konesky, senior construction management major. “They run the construction team, dealing with architects, engineers, laborers and safety workers. They have to manage the whole group as one cohesive team manager.”

Konesky is also the student senator for the College of Technology, the president of the Construction Management Student Chapter and an intern for the University Architect.

The construction management major, now in its second year, will see its first class of students graduate this spring.

Joe Karpinski, College of Technology and Construction Management assistant professor, said the program had originally planned to introduce new classes over the course of four years, pushing the first graduation date to 2011.

To accommodate upperclassmen who were interested in the major, Konesky, Karpinski and program developers cut their timetable in half, offering all 10 major classes within a 2-year period.

Karpinski said that three new classes were introduced this fall, and the final three classes will be introduced in Spring 2009. New classes this fall are Construction Surveying, Construction Jobsite Management and Residential Construction Estimating.

The College of Technology is accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology, and the construction management major will go through a process to receive accreditation in Spring 2009.

The Mechanical Contractor Association of America and its local counterpart in Cleveland, sponsor the student chapter headed by Konesky. Last year, the MCAA granted the organization $3,000.

Karpinski said that the chapter was required to spend $1,500 of the grant on student scholarships. Instead, the student chapter spent all of it on scholarships.

CMSC used the grant to purchase textbooks required for major classes, including classes that had not yet been introduced in the program. Students who actively participated in CMSC received all of their required textbooks for free. Those who received the scholarship donated their books back to the chapter, allowing the book program to continue into this year.

Last spring, Konesky, along with two other members of the CMSC, headed a relief program for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, the workers helped to build a house for a family in need.

Konesky said the goal of the student chapter is to help bridge the knowledge students gain in the classroom with the experience they will need to succeed in the work field.

The student chapter is working on fundraisers for upcoming summits sponsored in part by the MCA of Cleveland. Konesky said they are building and selling cornhole sets for a low, undetermined price. The group also works concessions for six Indians games each semester.

Contact College of Technology reporter Abbey Linville at [email protected].