Teaching the Next Generation of Tilt-Up Professionals

Students from Pittsburg State University construct a concrete tilt-up panel. Photo courtesy of Dr. Randall Timi.

Students from Pittsburg State University construct a concrete tilt-up panel. Photo courtesy of Dr. Randall Timi.

The Construction Engineering Technology and Construction Management degree programs at Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg, KS) place high value on hands-on curriculum, as the best way to prepare students for their careers. As a leader in the tilt-up industry, LJB recently helped the students gain experience with tilt-up construction by volunteering to provide structural plans and details needed to secure a building permit and complete the construction on two communication huts for the City of Pittsburg.

“As a company, our core purpose is to improve the quality of life,” explained David Tomasula. “An important aspect of that is imparting our knowledge and experience on to the next generation.”

The communication huts were built as part of a project-based senior-level course in which the program solicits real jobs in the community that the students actually manage and build. The City of Pittsburg is one of the program’s primary clients. In the past, students have built multiple park shelters, restrooms, and similar structures for the city.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Randall Timi.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Randall Timi.

For this project, the city requested huts constructed from “hardened” construction material, something that was more likely to survive a severe weather event. Members of the program proposed tilt-up and the city agreed.

“Tilt-up concrete construction is one of many construction methods we hope to demonstrate to our students by allowing them to do the work in a lab,” explained Dr. Randall Timi, director of the program.

The communication huts are located at one radio tower and two water tower sites around the city. The huts are built at the base and house the support equipment such as controls and computers.

Communication Hut North Water Tower

Photo courtesy of Dr. Randall Timi

“I am happy to report that the city officials are quite pleased with the results. Our management team was recognized at a city council meeting in May for their efforts,” said Dr. Timi. “The council recognized that the time spent by our students was approximately equal to one year’s work by a city employee. Our students were able to recognize the many contributions from industry, including the efforts of LJB.”

The structures were completed before the end of the Spring 2015 semester.

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