Training Center to Create Hands-On Building Experience

Training Center to Create Hands-On Building Experience

Versatile lab allows students to continually build up and tear down building project

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

It is only fitting that shovels of dirt be turned over to officially kick off the construction of a new training center for students in the Construction Management Technology (CMT) program.

When completed, the Construction Training Center (CTC) will allow students to construct and reuse a one-story, 1,000+ square foot mock building each semester. About 2.6 acres of college-owned property on Waupun Road in Oshkosh are being developed to create the new training facility. The project will include a 5,000-square-foot building to store reusable materials and equipment, a field office and site storage typically seen on a commercial construction site.

“We are developing project managers; the premise of the CTC is to introduce students to building products, site sequencing, logistics and installation methods,” says Rich Cass, department chair of Construction Management Technology. “When students are budgeting, scheduling and managing the work they will be better equipped to do so after building it themselves in a controlled, realistic environment.”  

The CMT associate degree program has seen steady growth since it was launched in 2009 and has outgrown the indoor lab it uses at the S.J. Spanbauer Center in Oshkosh. The new site will have enough room for 16 students to work together at one time.

“Instead of learning in an indoor classroom laboratory, students will now learn in a more realistic environment where they are dealing with the elements like sun, rain, and snow,” Rich explains. “It will also be truer to life when it comes to the actual size of the components. For example, instead of a five-foot steel column in the old lab, they will now be standing a 12-foot steel column with a crane. It is essentially a job site.”

The $1.4 million outdoor job site lab should be ready for students in spring 2024. Donors to the project include CR Meyer, Boldt, Omni Glass & Paint, The Commonwealth Companies and Wells Concrete.