Illinois State University construction management students placed second in the 2021 Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 3 Commercial Construction Competition held in Downers Grove October 20-23, 2021.

Illinois State’s commercial construction team consisted of students Caleb Jacob, team captain Paul Jaworowski, Joel Jimenez, Jose Quiroz, Russell Smallwood, Adam Wenberg, and faculty coach Dr. Euysup Shim, associate professor of technology. The commercial team’s project involved the estimation and perpetration of a bid proposal for the Misericordia Bakery Retail Shop project located in Chicago and constructed by Walsh Construction Company, the competition sponsor. The team competed against schools from Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

After receiving the problem statement Thursday, October 21 at 7 a.m., the team had 16 hours to create a written bid proposal that involved the application of scheduling techniques, estimating, risk management, budgeting, evaluation of client criteria, and coordination, and submit it by 11 p.m. that night. On Friday, October 22, the team provided an oral presentation to the group of estimators who initially worked on the project. Members of Illinois State’s team had to demonstrate their full knowledge of the plans and specifications, problem-solving, construction methods, presentation, and communication skills.

“My experience with the competition was challenging and fun,” Quiroz said. “I think it was a great way to learn professionalism in the construction industry.”

Illinois State’s team spent eight weeks preparing for the competition.

“I found the experience a motiving way to apply the skills I have learned in internships and the classroom, in a competitive environment,” Jaworowski said. “Once the problem is released, it’s like drinking from a firehose trying to absorb as much information as possible, but then the gears shift to working with your team to come up with creative solutions to the project.”

This year’s project was for Misericordia, a Catholic Charity of the Archdiocese of Chicago, which provides a home and community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including work opportunities for its adult residents. The bakery shop and café are being built to provide more job opportunities to Misericordia’s clients and add an architecturally significant gathering place for the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

“Bidding on the Misericordia project was a great way to bring the human element to a competition that is so focused on technical construction knowledge,” Jaworoski said. “The competition was a fun way to bond with my fellow students and represent Illinois State on a national level.”