Building Up the Community, Building Up Their Skills

Christmas in April Construction project
CSM students, from left, Igor Kobyzev, Kenny Dillard and Jose Rodriguez-Lopez, work together with Instructor Tony Stout and student John Faherty to assemble the new kitchen countertops and sink for the home on Fairgrounds Road in La Plata.

CSM Construction Management Students Assist in Christmas in April Program

They removed the old — pulling out sagging, worn-out cabinets and faulty appliances in the kitchen. Then, they brought in the new — installing new kitchen cabinets and countertops and, in the bathroom, a new door, shower surround and toilet. The six students and three faculty and family members from the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) did their part in the 2017 Charles County Christmas in April event, helping to provide upgrades to a home on Fairgrounds Road in Bel Alton on April 29, along with volunteers from Zion Wesleyan Church in Waldorf and others.

The Fairgrounds Road project made a significant difference to the elderly couple who live there. Accessibility and safety were key elements of the project. The husband is disabled and the wife has significant hearing loss.

“These upgrades improved both the functionality and safety of the home for these residents,” said CSM Construction Management Program Coordinator Tony Stout, who headed up the college’s volunteer contingent.

But the residents weren’t the only ones to benefit from the community service. The project provided the CSM students, who are working toward an associate of applied science degree in Construction Management at the college, a real-world opportunity to apply skills they are learning in class.

“As part of the program, students learn key concepts, such as building methods and materials, estimating, project management, surveying and leadership skills — all of which are critical in the construction workforce,” Stout said.

The Construction Management Program at CSM is an associate of applied science (AAS) degree program that enables students to become employable as a project manager, cost estimator, quality assurance manager or safety director. As part of the program of study, they become familiar with the various functions that a project manager will perform on the job, develop work schedules that result in cost reduction in numerous production cycles, complete documentation that complies with current trade practices and regulations, implement scheduling processes with tools such as master scheduling and other electronic computerized systems and plan, design and present projects that include tasks performed safely within all areas of the construction environment.

“This program not only enables students to transfer to a four-year institution, it allows them to enter the workforce with the requisite skills and knowledge to be effective leaders,” Stout said.

The Fairgrounds Road house was one of 20 projects that were part of this year’s Christmas in April Charles County’s participation in National Rebuilding Day, a day to rehabilitate houses of the community’s low-income homeowners, elderly and disabled so that they may live in warmth, safety and independence. The CSM volunteers joined approximately 500 other volunteers for the day of work.

“We look forward to making this an annual event for the CSM Construction Management students,” Stout said.

For information on Christmas in April Charles County, visit http://christmasinaprilcharlescounty.com/about-us/. For information on earning a degree in Construction Management at CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/credit/academic-divisions/bat/.

Christmas in April construction project
The CSM team, from left, students Jeffrey Gardiner, Igor Kobyzev, Kenny Dillard, Levin Lucas, Jose Rodriguez-Lopez and John Faherty, stand with Instructor Tony Stout in front of their project house April 29. Other CSM participants in the project, CSM Assistant Professor Ronda Jacobs and her husband, John Jacobs, are not pictured.

 

Christmas in April Construction project
CSM students, from left, Igor Kobyzev, Kenny Dillard and Jose Rodriguez-Lopez, work together with Instructor Tony Stout and student John Faherty to assemble the new kitchen countertops and sink for the home on Fairgrounds Road in La Plata.

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