Students shadow Pittman Hall construction projects

Eastern Michigan University is giving mentors and students a chance to work together on campus.

Brandon Pomish, head of the Pittman Hall construction project, wanted to get students involved in the project to give them education beyond the classroom. The students in this shadowing project will take practical knowledge and skill away from this experience.

“The students are shadowing the project manager and the site superintendent,” said Pomish. “They are both brand new into the construction industry, and have no experience in the professional construction environment.

“The goal of the program is for the students to coincide their classroom education with on-the-job learning. An objective goal for them at the end of the project is to be able to execute a construction schedule using the scheduling software available in the professional field,” Pomish said.

“It’s pretty interesting because when I’m with the construction manager I feel like I’m in his shoes because I see all the obstacles he has to go through and get to see how it gets done,” said Iman Eidi, one of the student mentors. “It feels good to use what I’m learning in the class and actually seeing how it gets done in the real world.”

As a current student in the mentorship program, this is Eidi’s first time doing construction on a building, and he likes it.

“I heard about this project through Eastern Constructors from Dr. Stein,” said Eidi.“It was an e-mail he sent around for everybody, and I decided to apply for it because I have nothing to lose. I’ve been working there since September. I usually go to the site in between my class breaks. What I do is mentor the project manager on the site. I follow him around; see what’s getting done, and what needs to get done.”

“I am mainly there to observe but I get involved with things like daily work reports, updating the schedule, writing requests for information and other general work,” said Gregory Champion, another student in the PCI mentorship program.“I found out about the opportunity because it was announced in class by the instructor. It was also posted on the Construction Management board in Roosevelt Hall.”

Champion had some experience before he started the mentorship, “I do enjoy it. I’ve been there about a month. It is very interesting learning how things go from bare materials to a finished building,” he said.

Pittman Hall has been under construction since Oct. 8. The unofficial completion date of this shadowing project and the construction of the Pittman building will be in January 2010. Renovations being made include new carpet, paint, millwork, and bathroom counters, as well as new lighting, new study lounges and recreational lounges on alternating floors.

“The total project budget is $1.63 million,” said Christopher Longerbeam, the project engineer. “PCI’s construction contract is around one million. The rest of the costs are in furnishings and other owner costs.”

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