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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Students Create 9/11 Memorial To Honor Fallen Firefighters

Official Wire

Students from the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program – a business intensive program that awards students with a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Concrete Industry Management - honored the fallen firefighters of three New York City firehouses located in the Time’s Square area of New York City at the 2010 World of Concrete Artistry event in Las Vegas, Nev.   A memorial was constructed by the CIM students of California State University, Chico, and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in the form of two nearly 10-foot-tall concrete replicas of the World Trade Center towers. On September 11, 2001, these firehouses lost two Companies including the men and women on duty for Ladder 4, Engine 54 and Battalion 9.

The simple, evocative design – two vertical forms representing the silhouette of the Twin Towers – reflects light on a faceted surface etched with the names of the fallen firefighters. The CIM students at each university learned about the technique for the special glass fiber reinforced concrete process that was used on the project prior to arriving in Las Vegas for World of Concrete.  At the show, the students performed all of the concrete work including forming, mixing and placing the concrete, erecting the completed panels, and dismantling the memorial at the end of the event. Retired New York City firefighter, Ed Gruetzner, now an accomplished decorative concrete installer and Mike Eastergard, a supporter of the CIM program, were on hand to advise the students and provide their expertise during the course of the project.

According to Trevor Hartz, a CIM student from MTSU, working on the memorial was an experience of a lifetime. “Against many odds – limited experience with the materials, restricted work space and schedule, and being under a microscope – the project was the most fulfilling, successful accomplishment of my college career. It was an opportunity for the concrete community leaders to see how capable and valuable CIM students are to the industry.”

The completed towers stand 9 feet 10 inches and 9 feet 8 inches, respectively, which mimics the appearance of the actual towers against the New York City skyline. The memorial towers were made of glass fiber reinforced concrete cast against faceted casting mats that produced a reflective mirrored finish. “The face of one tower is etched with the story of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, while the other displays the names of the 32 firefighters who lost their lives,” said Tanya Wattenburg Komas, Director of Chico State’s Concrete Industry Management program.

The memorial was presented to the Captain of the New York City firehouse in a ceremony Thursday, Feb. 4 at World of Concrete. The towers will eventually be placed in a memorial park across from the New York firehouse and will be rededicated in September 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

“It was not only an honor and a privilege to build this monument, but it was even a greater privilege to work with a group of fine individuals to complete it,” commented Matthew Gerdes, a CIM student from MTSU. “Though we were only together for almost a week, I walked away with a group of good friends.”

About CIM

Receiving tremendous support from the concrete industry, the CIM program was the first of its kind in United States – a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Concrete Industry Management. The need for such a program was recognized in 1994 and was put into action by the concrete industry. The end-result was a partnership between the concrete industry and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) to develop the CIM program, implementing it with its first two students in 1996. Available at MTSU, Arizona State University, California State University, Chico, Texas State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the program has been successful for both the industry and the graduates.

The goal of the program is to produce broadly educated, articulate graduates grounded in basic construction management, who are knowledgeable of concrete technology and techniques and are able to manage people and systems as concrete contractors, as well as promote products or services related to the concrete industry. It entails a broad range of courses, from English and history to science and mathematics. A series of required business courses such as finance, marketing, management and business law are also taken throughout the length of the program.

The concrete services courses teach the fundamentals of concrete, properties and testing, concrete construction and more. All of these courses provide much more than what is simply in the text – they emphasize problem solving, quality assurance and customer satisfaction. They utilize practical case studies and an internship to make sure the student obtains real-world experience essential to starting a successful career. Additional opportunities for growth include on-campus socials and other organized events providing industry networking and professional development.