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2013 Masonry Design/Build Competition at NJIT
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NJIT Masonry Design/Build Competition – PATH Station, Harrison, NJ
The annual Masonry Design/Build competition sponsored by Masonry Contractors of New Jersey, co-sponsored by the New Jersey Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Labor Management Committee in cooperation with IMI was held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology's College of Architecture and Design campus on April 13 - 15, 2013 in Newark, NJ.

The focus of this year's project tasked 10 teams, totaling 161 students with researching the site location and designing a new “PATH Train Station” in Harrison, NJ.  Students were able to collaborate with Masonry professionals and craftworkers to design and build a critical masonry element of their designs. They watched their visions come to life and tried their own hands with a trowel while learning proper installation techniques.  They also learned about the advantages and benefits of masonry design and construction, something we hope they will carry with them throughout their careers.

The 2 build days on Saturday and Sunday were off to a chilly start but it turned into a nice sunny weekend that allowed the students to construct their designs as they were mentored by professionals in the trade and used materials donated by members of Masonry Contractors of New Jersey.  Judging and an awards banquet were held to honor the winning students on Monday.

This year's esteemed panel of expert judges included:
Alan Chimacoff, AIA – Principal, Ikon 5 Architects
Urs Gauchat – Dean, NJIT College of Architecture and Design
Carlos Jimenez – Principal, Designer, Carlos Jimenez Studio
Michael Schmerbeck – President, Back Brook Masonry
Carisa Sweeney, RA, LEED AP – Marchetto Higgins Stieve

The judges were charged with ranking the teams based on their Architectural Idea, Material Idea, Fragment/Build Idea, the presentation of their project and how well they communicated their logic and reasoning behind it.

Special congratulations and honors went to an ecstatic Pink Team when they were announced for ties for First Place, Best Mockup, and Best Board and winners of the Best Presentation category! The Pink Team took home more awards than any other team since the competition’s inception, kudos!  The Pink Team was comprised of students Emilio A. Amparo, Pramududitha Eka, Jack S. Coyne, Jorge M. Cruz, Nehemie Francois, Tony Giard, Robin L. Hanrathan, Matthew Jekelis, Trevor A. King, Claudia E. Mardones, Lauren Martin, Ksenia Mokrinskaya, Janelle L. Payumo, Anthony Rion, Rebecca Tanious, Christopher H. Villarreal-Cesar, and Chenyuan Wang.  Team Pink was led by Faculty Julio Figueroa and mentored by Masonry Professional Charlie Shea with the assistance of Foreman Richard Joyce.

Team Light Green tied for the categories of First Place, Best Mockup, and Best Board.  Team Light Green is comprised of students Hossam El Di O Abostate, Ravi K. Akella, Eric J. Bieber, Alex L. Bradbury-Wallad, Alexander Bruno, Ruchi Dattani, Danielle M. Derby, Brian J. Gow, Kristina Y. Koon, Emilie J. LaForge, Grecia E. Olivas, Eric W. Somesia, Isidoro S. Sorace, Elvis A. Tapia, Tahjil K. Whtehead, Robert Wojciechowski, and Michael T. Young.  Team Light Green was led by Faculty Angus Eade and mentored by Masonry Professional Eric Shaffer with the assistance of Foreman Albertino Rodrigues.

Third Place was taken by Team Dark Green, comprised of students Kyle A. Bendel, Stephen S. Choi, Alexander Cutrona, Anthony M. DiSanto, Salome L. Idrovo, Morgan A. Jones, Benjamin Kinghorn, Hristo Y. Kovachev, Eteson Larissa, Erik J. Liepins, Vania M. Masilang, Anthony M. Risorto, David J. Sager, Stephanie Tabares, Martyna I. Trochimowicz, and David P. Yoo.  Team Dark Green was led by Faculty William Prince and mentored by Masonry Professional Charlie Shea with the assistance of Foreman Dennis Poole.

Dean Urs Gauchat, Dean of NJIT College of Architecture and Design proudly states “It is a marvel every year to see yet another generation of students has found a new way to explore the materials.  Everybody will leave this experiment today feeling they learned something valuable, whether they are people who build or people who design and will leave with an amazing amount of respect for each other.”

Julio Figueroa, Team Pink Faculty adds “Harrison has a tradition of building with masonry and since it is a brand new structure at the end of the railroad tracks the students had a chance to study that tradition and build upon it to come up with their designs for the build.”

Team Blue Faculty Jorge Prado states “This is the first time the students see the material and see business executed on a job site.  Just the fact that they had to prepare for it and then interact with the masons to finalize their details and actually participate in the build is invaluable.  It is a unique program and the thing they remember most of their first three years of their education here.”

Gabriel Fuentes, Team Black Faculty, sums up the competition by saying “This is a great learning experience for them because they’ve spent  two years now working on paper and in model so for them to actually see their product built is exciting.  They have also learned about the challenges of the simplest things like working with each other and with other people and it’s been quite a ride.”

The Masonry Contractors of New Jersey stands proud to have once again sponsored a successful Masonry Design/Build Competition and looks forward to providing this educational event for many years to come. We extend our sincere appreciation to all participants and sponsors for their support. 

To view our pictures for this year’s event please visit our photo gallery by clicking at the top of the page.

To view the DVD of this year’s event please click here.

Putting A Round
On Thursday, May 16, 2013 Masonry Contractors of New Jersey hosted our 20th Annual Golf Tournament at Sea Oaks Golf Club in Little Egg Harbor, NJ.  With the sun shining and a comfortable temperature in the 70’s it was a perfect day to spend out on the green!  Our golfers began their day with a delicious barbeque lunch at the clubhouse meeting and greeting the other golfers.  The shot gun sounded at 12:30pm, the golfers teed it up at their starting hole and played a scramble format.

Bryan Bermudez, Carmine Attanasio and Daniel Brennan deserved the 1st place win with a team score of 64.  Following in 2nd place was Dominick Dandrea, Jr., Dominick Dandrea, Sr., Donald Douglas, and John Reese with a team score of 67.  John Capo, Don Engelhardt, Ken Simone, Ron Green and John Wurtenberg took 3rd place honors, while Brian Klock, Don Lewis and Josh Longsdorf took the 4th place win.

The day was filled with course contests won by Stephen Easter who took the prize for Longest Drive on the 17th hole, Joe Sudol for Straightest Drive which happened on hole #5, Mike Tomaine who clinched the title for Closest to the Pin with a distance of 26’ on the 4th hole and Mark Koltura with a distance of 13’6” on the 7th hole.  Nat Acchione won the putting contest that was located between hole #4 and hole #5 and Brian Klock won Ping G15 Irons for the bonus raffle.

After a full day of drives, putts, slices and networking, our guests got a chance to mingle, relax, and wind down while looking out over the beautiful course with a delicious buffet dinner.  Thanks to all the wonderful supporters who took part!

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