Building Construction's FYE Class gives students an immersive construction experience

The Department of Building Construction First-Year Experience (FYE) class is living up to its name. Many students in the program experienced life on a large construction site.  A FYE grant provided the funding needed for the fun-filled weekend of industry learning in Charlotte, NC.

The November 5th and 6th trip began Friday evening with a tour of Swinerton’s new headquarters which utilizes glulam structural members for longer spans. Students networked with industry while enjoying pizza and watching Virginia Tech’s football game against Boston College.

Saturday morning kicked off the first of several site visits throughout the day. The first stop was the new Duke Energy Tower building. Battson-Cook educated the students on different aspects of the building, such as its structural design, installation of the wall panels, core and shell construction method, and the operations behind the mechanical systems. It was also a "first" for many students as they rode a buck hoist to the 42nd floor.

Students then toured Swinerton’s West MoreHead Lofts, an apartment building under construction and within walking distance of the Bank of America Stadium. There, industry professionals explained the importance of mock-ups to test designs for windows and exterior materials before installation. 


The last stop of the day was in the Lake Norman area. Augusta Homes and Courtland Homebuilders walked students through several multi-million-dollar residential properties in various stages of completion - either being built from the ground up or undergoing major renovations. The students learned about the challenges that come with each jobsite, as many of the properties are on septic systems and wells, and the importance of creating and sustaining good relationships with clients and others in the industry.

Many thanks to the industry hosts, including Jared Hoeflich, Swinerton; Randy Thompson, Battson-Cook; Ken Wrench, Augusta Home Builders; Warren Smith, Courtland Homes, and Ernest Pruitt for arranging the residential visits.  Also thanks to the MLSoC folks who made this trip possible, Renee Ryan, BC Assistant Director of Student Affairs & Administration; Shelton Norwood, BC Academic Advisor;  Clay Hottinger, Learning Assistant, and Gary Kinder, Senior Academic Advisor, for coordinating the trip.