UWP students aid community church

January 2, 2004

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2004_01_02.jpgFrom left to right: Bottom - Father Charles Schulter, Jon Stevens, Mike Wiczek and Greg Siebers. Top - Joe Malenofski, Jacob Franzmeier, Angel Doty, Justin Dahlberg and Dr. Robert Schmitt.

PLATTEVILLE - Helping the community and gaining hands-on experience for students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville are just a few of the benefits that came from the work provided by the student chapter of Associated General Contractors (AGC) to St. Mary's Catholic Church of Platteville.

Thirteen student members of AGC along with their faculty advisor, Dr. Robert Schmitt, united together to construct a fully functional concrete ramp leading up to the parish offices of St. Mary's Catholic Church.

The students first expressed an interest in a community construction project to their faculty advisor. Schmitt then took the initiative to contact Father Charles Schluter of St. Mary's Catholic Church and learned of the parish's need for a ramp. To gain funding for the supplies, Schmitt contacted Bob Barker, vice president of the Wisconsin AGC Chapter, for financial support. Following a donation of $1,200 from the Wisconsin AGC Chapter, the students were able to purchase the supplies needed for the project.

"The offer to build a ramp for the parish offices came with perfect timing," Schluter said. "There are several senior citizens in our parish who will benefit from this project. We are very appreciative of the time and effort put forth by the students and the contributions given by the Wisconsin AGC Chapter."

The project also offered the students valuable hands-on experience. In October, the students began the initial design work, obtained a proper building permit and researched the correct codes and regulations in designing a handicap accessible ramp. During the month of November and into December, the students completed the design work and constructed the concrete ramp. Throughout the course of the project, the students also improved their communication skills between Schluter, Schmitt and themselves.

"Working on the ramp project was an excellent opportunity to gain experience in project management and aid the community all in one," replied Jon Stevens, a UWP student originally from Madison, earning a degree in building and construction management.

"This project offered a positive hands-on learning experience for the students, while providing a valuable resource to both the church and community," Schmitt said.

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