A team of Nebraska construction management students, advised by assistant professor of practice Brandon Kreiling, took first place and set an event speed record at the annual Race to Build competition April 5-7 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.
With its victory, the Nebraska team also earned a $5,000 scholarship for the construction management program.
Students on the team included Steve Strehle, Nolan Olsen, Connor Pudenz, Tyler Wyman, Christian Chilton, Madisyn McClemmons, Camden Wrehe, Quentin Moore, Ryan Schroeder, Seth Rinderknect, Garrett Giesler, Matt McMahon, Erik Huskey and Rune VandenBoogaart.
Watch the 2019 Race to Build recap video (Facebook)
The competition capped a hectic week for the Nebraska team, which also attended the 100thAnnual Associated General Contractors (AGC) Convention in Denver, Colorado. The team traveled from there to Bristol to take part in the Race to Build competition along with teams from East Tennessee State University and Iowa State University.
Race to Build is held annually in April at the speedway during the week leading up to the Food City 500, one of the races in NASCAR’s premier circuit – the Monster Energy Series.
The Appalachia Service Project partners with the Bristol Motor Speedway for the project, in which teams of construction management students from three universities compete by building three homes as quickly as they can. The completed homes are given to three veteran families in the Tri-Cities region of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia – this includes the Tennessee cities of Kingsport, Johnson City and the twin cities of Bristol, which share the border between Tennessee and Virginia. The region has a combined population of nearly 500,000.
Race to Build began in 2015 to draw attention to critical housing needs in the Tri-Cities area. This year’s event was the fourth college competition. Teams are provided a floor system built on a pair of I-beams. They work 10-hour days, making sure they keep in mind safety, stewardship, teamwork, and accuracy to the house plans.
After the Food City 500 race, a home-moving company lifted the homes onto a truck bed and delivered them to their permanent addresses. Volunteers and contractors got the home move-in ready, and the families were given the keys.
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