December 2013

Local Students Earn High Honors in the Annual Associated Schools of Construction Competition

Posted Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 14:15

Alfred State students took home second, fourth, and fifth place wins from a field of 17 schools.

Students in Construction CompetitionFor the past 24 years, top design and construction students from schools across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have gathered to prove their worth to potential future employers at the annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition. This year, 17 schools and more than 200 bright minds vied for placement, and Alfred State students walked away with honors in three categories—a second place in design-build, a fourth place in heavy-civil construction, and a fifth place in commercial building. “Our students made an impressive showing,” says Tim Piotrowski, of Jamestown, an assistant professor of Civil Engineering Technology at Alfred State who accompanied them on their trip. “These were real-world simulations with real-world deadlines and all the associated stress. But our students excel at those types of challenges.”

Alfred State students traveled to Morristown, NJ, for the two-day event from Nov. 15 to 16, with teams entering each of the competition categories; design-build, heavy-civil construction, and commercial building. The design-build team included Steven Hickey (Penfield), Alex Bragg (Canandaigua), Carley Youngman (Spencerport), Kristin Szkolnik (Syracuse), Zack Kohler (Babylon), and Ryan Grace (Syracuse). The heavy-civil construction team was comprised of Joe Triscuit (Busti), Nate Silsbee (Bath), Clinton Brewer (Olean), Jay Burdin (Corning), Andrew Hydock (Lyndonville), and William Engel (Brunswick). The commercial building team included David Radloff (Glen Falls), Geronimo Rosario (Utica), Richard McCall (Miltown, NJ), Chris Drazan (Bethlehem), Tom Parmenter (Pavilion), and Nick Antonioli (Wellsville).

On Nov. 15, teams were provided with actual contract documents and given 15 hours to create a cost estimate, construction schedule, site-specific safety plan, logistical plan for using the site, and a strategy to execute the project. The following day, each team gave a 30-minute oral presentation to the judges, describing their proposal and why they were the best team to build the project. Teams were then judged on the quality of both their proposal and oral presentation. “This is a capstone to our students’ educational careers. They were judged by the very industry professionals who built the projects used in the competition,” Tim says.

Although the competition was fierce, students who attended had an unprecedented opportunity to network with their peers and potential future employers during the accompanying job fair, and employers received access to 35 teams of self-motivated students from top programs. “It was a real, first-hand look at the construction industry for our students. They got to experience the level of effort it takes to be successful.”

In photo: Design-build team, bottom row from left: Zack Kohler (Babylon), Ryan Grace (Syracuse), Kristin Szkolnik (Syracuse), Team Captain Carley Youngman (Spencerport); top row from left: Assistant Professor Tim Piotrowski (Jamestown), Steven Hickey (Penfield), Alex Bragg (Canandaigua)


Renovated Building on College Campus Wins Prestigious Engineering Award Thanks to Area Businesses

Posted Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 09:30

A $15 million renovation at Alfred State earns a platinum award for engineering excellence from New York’s American Council of Engineering Companies

The nearly 50-year-old Physical and Health Sciences facility centrally located on campus has become a symbol of both the college’s commitment to sustainability and its desire to offer students a state-of-the-art learning environment after it underwent a $15 million upgrade from 2011 to 2012. It has since been recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) New York, earning a platinum award for engineering excellence and is now officially LEED Gold certified.

Today, the building houses the forensic science technology, biology, and nursing programs and maintains academic laboratories, nursing suites, laboratory media preparation and chemical storage areas, lecture halls, student lounges, and faculty office spaces. “This was a gut rehab,” said Glen Brubaker, director of facilities services at Alfred State. “We wanted a total makeover of the labs while creating a place where students could engage and interact, making it more user-friendly and conducive to interdepartmental collaboration.”

Physical and Health Sciences lobbyBuffalo based Flynn Battaglia Architects were commissioned to program and design the renovations to the 55,000-square foot, three-story facility formerly known as the Allied Health Building, while Pathfinder Engineers & Architects LLP out of Rochester provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering as well as energy modeling. In addition to the creation of new student seating areas along corridors and public meeting spaces, the renovations included the highest-quality teaching laboratories with world-class academic technology. 

But perhaps the most revolutionary aspects of the new facility are the changes that went on under the surface—namely, a 30-well hybrid ground source heat pump system delivering superior energy performance, ultra-low flow plumbing fixtures, variable pumping, and other energy-saving technologies. To top it all off, the building includes an 18 kilowatt photovoltaic array on its south-facing roof and has since exceeded the requirements for LEED Gold certification. The renovations are expected to provide a 55 percent annual energy reduction compared to the industry standards. 

“The whole idea was to make it as energy efficient as possible,” Brubaker said. As per the Governor of New York’s Executive Order 88, all state facilities have been directed to reduce energy consumption by 2020. Brubaker is confident that this renovation will not only be part of fulfilling that directive but also provide an example for other institutions and campuses to follow. Plans are even in the works for the building to add a visual display of the energy systems inside the building and how they are performing; in the future, students and visitors will be able to see the technology in action. “We hope this is going to be the model for how we renovate other buildings on campus in the future. It’s an important step forward.”

Allied Health Building Before

Allied Health building

Physical and Health Sciences Building After

Physical and Health Sciences Building


Hinkle Library Exhibit Explores Natural World Through Giclee Printing

Posted Date: Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 15:30

From now through the end of January, visitors to Hinkle Memorial Library at Alfred State can escape the winter doldrums and spend time appreciating the natural world through a blend of photography and the Giclee printing process.

This collection of museum-quality work by Tom Martin, master photographer, and Kathy Martin, fine art printer, features remarkable depth, color, vibrancy, and tonal contrast meant to evoke feelings of wonder and humility.

Tom and his wife, Kathy, own Martin Studio of Photography in Alleghany, NY. Tom is a graduate of RIT and has been awarded the Master of Photography degree by the Professional Photographers of America. He is a two-time winner of the Fuji Masterpiece Award.

Visit their website to view more of their work.