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Sources: Tom Logan, 785-532-3580,;
and Leonel Hernandez,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-6415,

Friday, Oct. 9, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's student chapter of the Associated General Contractors was recently selected as the second-best collegiate group in the nation by the Associated General Contractors of America for its philanthropic work.

The 125-member K-State chapter received the award specifically for its construction of a memorial to commemorate the victims of the tornado that ravaged the Kansas community of Chapman in June 2008. In addition to the recognition, the student chapter received $750 from the Associated General Contractors of America in honor of the 750 man-hours invested in building the memorial.

Tom Logan, faculty adviser to the chapter, said the award money would go toward funding of future projects, job site tours and for the Kansas Associated General Contractors Convention.

"I am extremely proud of all the students that worked so hard both on the projects and the other efforts of the chapter," said Logan, who is an assistant professor of architectural engineering and construction science. "The chapter's executive staff have all invested considerable time and effort in organizing projects, coordinating member efforts and assisting within the department."

The memorial was built over the course of five days in conjunction with the television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Forty members of the student chapter participated in building the memorial, which is in the center of the town in a park setting. Also assisting with the project were three K-State landscape architecture students and some members of the K-State Horticulture Club.

"The memorial consists of concrete walls, benches, new landscaping and a walkway," said Leonel Hernandez, senior in construction science and management, Hooker, Okla., and president of the K-State student chapter of the Associated General Contractors. "A landscape architect student designed it, and we took care of planning and estimating for the project."

According to Hernandez, the student chapter raised $50,000 worth of equipment and donations for the project. Students performed a variety of duties, including erecting steel, digging footings, landscaping, and excavation and layout of the memorial.

"We really put a lot of time and effort into this project," Hernandez said. "The project was very demanding but very rewarding at the same time. We knew it was for a greater cause, so we had to get it done."

The K-State chapter participated in other events last year as well. According to Logan, 15 members traveled with Ray Buyle, instructor of architectural engineering and construction science and a faculty adviser to the chapter, to New Orleans for an alternative spring break trip to help rebuild two homes for two families in need. Student chapter members also participated in Habitat for Humanity in Ogden and small projects for the local Oak Grove Preschool last year.

Hernandez said that he attributes the chapter's success to great leadership.

"We've had officers who are willing to put in time and effort to be able to provide our members with some great opportunities," he said. "We have members who want to get involved, which is huge. Without the members, we would not be able to do what we do. Our advisers, who have a lot of experience, are more than willing to offer advice and try new ideas."

Both Logan and Hernandez said that their goal for this year is to continue to work hard to become the top student chapter of the Associated General Contractors next year.

Being a highly ranked chapter is a positive reflection on the K-State community, Hernandez said.

"People will start to see how involved we've been, and hopefully we'll get even more members to join," he said. "I think people will have a better understanding of who we are as a student chapter and department."

More information on the chapter is available at