Each year, the students in the ACE program are given a real-life situation project, in which they will be responsible of presenting on the Annual ACE Breakfast meeting. As mentioned on the last article, students were divided into equal groups on the first ACE meeting at Hodgson. All groups have sophomores, juniors, and seniors that make up the team so that there are equal levels of skills and experience within all groups. This year’s project is a new library and community center campus in New Castle, DE. This is a real project that New Castle County is seeking proposals for; the student’s project ideas, if it meets all of the requirements, may be chosen by the county to be used for the building’s actual construction. Throughout the program, the students will learn, from different mentors in different trades, the process and everything necessary to construct a new building, and incorporate it into their projects.
In the last meeting, when the projects were assigned, Dev Sitaram, from Karins and Associates, and Joseph Jakubowski, from Duffield Associates, gave a presentation on site planning and testing. Joseph explained how prior to any type of construction, the site has to be tested for soil types and how different soil types can affect the type of foundation a building or house may require. He went through the process of soil testing; how it is done and how the results affect construction. For example, certain kinds of soil, and the placement of different soil layers, require a deeper foundation than a typical foundation in order to support the whole building. Otherwise, the building could sink into the ground, tilt one way, or create cracks in the foundation over time. Dev then went into site planning; prior to any construction, each project has “land boundaries” or a specific square footage of area that may be used for the project. An engineer must carefully plan ahead the location of the building and how to properly use the surrounding area to benefit the new building. One example is where the parking lot is going to go, where the entrance and exit to the parking lot will be to and from the surrounding roads, and how the parking lot will be accessed to the people traveling to/from the building.
The site requirements for this project are:
- Good traffic circulation
- Welcoming campus design that visually energizes the site
- Buildings with easy access to parking
- 20,000 to 50,000 Sq. Ft. Library
- 10,000 to 20,000 Sq. Ft. Community Center
- A system of hiker/biker trail around the site that is 8 to 10 feet wide integrated to neighboring community walkways and pedestrian paths
- A parking lot/parking garage or combination with minimum of 300 parking spaces shared between all users
- Area of 1.0 acres dedicated for stormwater management
- 40’ wide landscape buffers along the boundaries of the property
- One full access entrance off of Hillview Avenue
- One right-in/right-out entrance off of Route 9 (New Castle Avenue)
- 10’ x 20’ parking spaces
- Bicycle parking spaces
- 24’ wide aisle ways
- 30’ x 70’ loading area
Some optional things that the students may add to the design are:
- Outdoor Amphitheater where plays or music programs may be held
- Community Garden
- Transit Center/Park-n-Ride
- Basketball Court(s)/ Playground
- Any other features/design that the students feel will be complimentary to the site.
The students were given the site plan and were allowed the rest of the day to plan the layout of their project. The mentors went around the room, helping the students with ideas, giving advice, and/or answering any questions the projects may have. Chris Moxley, the Technical Drafting teacher at Hodgson, also allows time during the class for the students to work on their projects.
On Jan. 7th 2015, the ACE program had a field trip to Mid-Atlantic Steel, located in New Castle, Delaware. Two Vo-tech schools, Hodgson Vo-Tech and DelCastle High School attended this field trip, along with all of the mentors from each school. During the fieldtrip, the students and mentors were given a tour of the company. The first part of the tour was of their drafting office, where they design all of the plans for their projects. During this part of the tour, the students were taught how a structural designer/engineer usually lays out the columns, beams, and trusses in a building. The second part of theof the tour was a tour of the shop, where they fabricate steel beams, steel railings, and every other project they may get. The tour guide explained the process of fabricating a steel beam, the multiple machines that are used in the shop, the purpose of each machine, and how each beam is transported to the different project locations. The purpose of the field trip was so the students could learn about the process of steel construction and structural layout, that way they can incorporate everything they learned into their project. Look forward to more updates about the ACE students and their projects.