Y team wins Las Vegas contest three years straight


    By Mark Nolte

    A management proposal prepared by a team of BYU construction management majors will bring a perpetual sunset to Lake Las Vegas.

    Tramanto, Italian for “sunset,” is a 48-unit housing complex that will be built according to the team”s proposal that won them first place at the National Association of Home Builders competition in Las Vegas.

    In addition, BYU-Idaho also placed first in the competition”s junior college division Monday Jan. 20, prompting one judge to say the two universities had created a dynasty.

    “It felt great,” said Craig Hassell, 24, a construction management team member. “We put a whole lot of work into it.”

    At the close of the six-member team”s management presentation the audience of students, faculty, corporate recruiters and NAHB officials erupted into a thunderous applause.

    Convincing the five judges their management proposal was better than 29 other universities was not as easy as convincing the crowd, said Jay Christofferson, the construction management program chair.

    BYU”s construction management team had already won a record-breaking two years in a row, and had placed in the top three every year except one since the competition”s inception in 1988.

    “I told them going into it, ”For you to win, your presentation must clearly be the best”,” Christofferson said. “They basically performed flawlessly.”

    Some of the team”s six members, Joseph Hudson, Ryan Carter, Craig Hassell, Brigham Mayer, Jeremy Jackson and Brandon Hill, even received job offers right after their presentation, said Christofferson.

    Last November, each team was given a set of plans for a 48-unit Italian villa, Tramanto, to be built along Lake Las Vegas.

    Teams prepared a complete management proposal containing three parts: a detailed schedule, the project”s cost estimates and a marketing plan.

    “In the 15 years that this competition has been going on, this has been the hardest project,” said Leon Rogers, the team”s faculty advisor. “We just have some incredibly gifted students.”

    The team”s oral presentation impressed four of the five judges to award a perfect 20, while the remaining judge awarded the team a 19.5.

    “Other people have said that because we have served missions, and are members of the church, we have a level of maturity, composure and experience that gives us the edge over the competition,” Jackson said.

    In addition to church service, many student faculty advisors said that BYU”s construction management program prepared them to win.

    “They (the team) felt that each class prepared them for the competition,” Christofferson said. “They really are getting a good education.”

    The six-member team also benefited from a focused team effort.

    While others were staying up late and sleeping in over the holiday break, the construction management team spent many sleepless nights fine tuning their project. Hassell”s wife, Lois, even acted as the team”s editor for the marketing plan that was bound and presented to the judges in book form.

    “It was rewarding to have the opportunity to associate with other members of the team and to end up respecting and admiring them more at the end of the project than I had at the beginning,” Hill said.

    The team received $1,500, desk clocks and their names on a traveling trophy.

    Cal Poly placed second, Michigan State University placed third and Purdue University placed fourth in the competition.

    “All we do is provide an education, and they take it to heart,” Rogers said.

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