Representatives from Garrett & Associates General Contractors in Whitehouse and GenCore in Tyler talked to students about construction management and a project in the works in southeast Tyler.
Eight construction management students visited the Phirst Building, which is under construction at Corporate Green at Eagle's Nest, a business park being developed by GenCore.
Randy Garrett, owner/president of Garrett & Associates, talked to the students about scheduling and other aspects of construction management. Project superintendent Libby Fulgham also was on hand to offer his expertise.
GenCore owner Phil Burks, whose global software company GenCore Candeo will occupy the building, took the students through the facility showcasing different energy-efficient components, such as those related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and more. The building will measure more than 17,000 square feet when complete.
The students said the job site visits are a great experience. Senior construction management major Caitlin Hall, 21, of Bogata, said they provide a chance for students to meet professionals and make connections that could lead to job opportunities.
It also helps them to see that what they are learning in class — scheduling software for instance — is what they will use in the field.
“It gets us excited because we know we're doing the right things in our class,” said Ms. Hall, who is president of UT Tyler's Construction Management Association.
Ben Westlake, 21, a senior construction management major from Amarillo, said the site visits are invaluable.
For many construction management majors, the college experience is the first exposure they have to the construction industry, he said.
“What we learn being onsite is almost more valuable than what we learn in the classroom,” he said.
UT Tyler construction management lecturer Cherie Jones said she tries to take all her classes out to different job sites because it gives them a better picture of the reality of the profession.
She said these students, who are in a scheduling class, already visited a construction project in Kilgore ISD and will have a site visit in Dallas later this month.
“I'm hoping that they understand just how serious the business is, and I think the only way they can see that is if I introduce them to all the things they're going to be responsible for as a construction manager,” Ms. Jones said.
Fulgham with Garrett & Associates said it was great to support the students.
“With the changing construction industry these days, it's a pleasure to be involved with students that are interested in getting into the field and to support the UT (Tyler) community,” he said.