By JACOB SADLER
In an exercise aimed at mimicking real world construction industry scenarios, Texas A&M construction science seniors presented building proposals for the university’s new Equine Center to representatives of Gamma Construction, the company currently engaged in building the facility.
The written and oral project management and construction services proposals were prepared for a capstone course led by Jim Smith, professor of construction science. The students estimated construction cost of the nine-building complex and scheduled all site activities, from clearing the land to completing of the project.
Mirroring Gamma Construction’s experience, the five teams of four students were tasked to draft proposals referencing incomplete project sketches that lacked specifications for building materials and mechanical and plumbing systems.
Their work was presented to Gamma’s vice president, Tom Hanson, and David Oaks, manager of the Equine Center project that is taking shape at 3500 F and B Rd. near FM 2818.
“The drawings we were given are nothing like the construction documents I learned to read in my classes,” said Kyle Davis, a fourth-year student. “Even on my internship, I was never exposed to a less-than-complete design. This project has been a challenge, to say the least.”
Throughout the semester, students heard presentations on project scheduling, conceptual estimating and worker safety from Gamma Construction professionals currently working on the Equine Center. They were also taken on a class tour of the project site.
The $80 million equine complex will be a major center of equine research, care and outreach for the colleges of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences and agriculture and life sciences and the home facility for the university’s equestrian team. It will consist of two large performance arenas, two warm-up arenas, a 50-stall barn, maintenance and storage facilities, an education and outreach building and office space.