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Students Use Experience to Assist Others

Monday, March 27, 2017

by Ashley Albaugh

Spring has officially arrived (even if some days still feel a little cool and dreary here in Iowa). For many, early spring means spring break – time off, trips to the beach, relaxation; for Neumann Brothers’ Project Management Intern Gavin Scroggin, spring break meant a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Gavin joined 35 others from the Iowa State University AGC (Associated General Contractors) Student Chapter to fix homes damaged during hurricane Matthew and other natural disaster events.

The trip allowed Gavin and other Construction Engineering students to practice the skills they are learning both in the classroom and through internships. “The whole trip was designed around using our construction skills and knowledge to help others in need” said Gavin. “Everything I’ve learned during summers roofing and siding homes, in class at ISU and under Berry Reeves (Neumann Project Manager), allowed me to help not only fix the homes but also assist the AGC’s vice president with organizing the daily tasks [deliver people and tools to various jobsites, coordinate and deliver materials, and organize meals and entertainment for everyone.”

Above: Members of the ISU AGC Student Chapter hard at work! Photo credit: Nathan Pals, ISU AGC member

Members of the ISU AGC chapter painted a home, built several small decks, removed a chimney and laid shingles while in South Carolina. “The most rewarding part of the trip was helping the families who don’t have the money, time or skills to fix their homes themselves” Gavin shared, “plus, I made friends with people I hadn’t had the chance to meet previously.” (The nice weather probably didn’t hurt either!)

Above: Gavin Scroggin, member of the ISU AGC Student Chapter, measures twice, cuts once. Photo credit: Nathan Pals, ISU AGC member

In just a few weeks Gavin will be heading out once again with members of the AGC to compete in the “Race to Build” in Bristol, Tennessee. The competition will pit the Iowa State University AGC team against other construction programs throughout the country to find out who can “dry in” a house quickest. In order to win they must frame the home, set trusses, sheath the roof and walls, apply Tyvek and set all windows and exterior doors – essentially waterproof a home – faster than every other team. All homes built during the competition will be donated to families in need before the start of NASCAR’s Bristol 500.

Above: Members of the ISU AGC Student Chapter take a break to pose! Photo credit: Nathan Pals, ISU AGC member

Being a part of any community – local, statewide, nationwide, worldwide – means contributing what you can, where you can, when you can. Gavin’s recent trip, one that undoubtedly meant more than we’ll know to the people he and his fellow students helped, is an inspiring example of making a difference in a community. We’re thankful he shared his opportunity with us and excited to see what he does next!