ECU construction management team places ninth in nation

A team of East Carolina University students finished in ninth place in the country in the National Association of Home Builders Student Competition in Las Vegas. Pictured, from left, are faculty coach Dan Thomas, team members Abby Russell, Cailey Hastings, Tristan Merritt, Jordan Milhouse, Austin Jordan, Julian Medina, Abigail Gonzalez, and Marlen Mendoza-Patricio, and faculty coach Susan Castelli (Craig Huey Photography)

A team of eight East Carolina University students in the Department of Construction Management placed ninth nationally at the National Association of Home Builders Student Competition at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

The competition included 40 four-year university construction management teams from throughout the country.

The event gives students the chance to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction project by completing a management proposal.

As part of the competition, students were tasked with performing a market analysis and then finding the best use of a 130-acre piece of property designated to be a community for those 55 years and older near St. George, Utah. Students had to design, budget and schedule raw land development, and then design, budget and schedule the sustainable homes that would be part of the community.

Beyond that, students had to devise a marketing and sales plan for the homes, demonstrate a proficient construction and project management plan, and produce detailed financial and risk analysis.

The final budget for the project, which included a negotiated sales price of the land, totaled $180 million.

Members of the ECU team included Tristan Merritt, Marlen Mendoza-Patricio, Jordan Milhouse, Abby Russell, Abigail Gonzalez, Julian Medina, Austin Jordan and Cailey Hastings. Faculty coaches were Susan Castelli and Dan Thomas.

The NAHB International Builders Show is the largest light construction show in the world, bringing together more than 1,400 manufacturers and suppliers, according to the organization. Beyond the competition, students were able to network with industry representatives, view demonstrations and workshops, and attend various programs.

NAHB represents a network of craftsmen and innovators dedicated to building and enriching communities. The organization offers its members educational resources, networking and expertise while advocating for an improved business environment.