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ONU Estimating Team Finishes First in Ohio Contractors Association Competition

Feb 20, 2008
The Ohio Northern University estimating team earned a first-place finish at the eighth annual Ohio Contractors Association (OCA) Estimating Competition held in Columbus on Feb. 15 and 16. For its first-ever first-place finish, the Northern team was awarded $2,000.

"This is a very cool outcome," said Dr. Bruce Berdanier, associate professor of civil engineering, who served as the team's faculty advisor. "Especially when you consider the nature of our degree program in comparison to some of the schools that we are in competition with. This is also a very sweet recognition for the seniors on the team who have finished second in the competition several times."

In winning the competition, defeated several schools from across the state: The Ohio State University, Cleveland State University, the University of Akron, Ohio University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Dayton and the University of Toledo.

"This was a very sophisticated project to analyze and prepare a bid proposal for, and I was extremely impressed with the presentation by all of our students," Berdanier said.

Craig Wing and Brian Smith of E.S. Wagner Company, a construction company based in Oregon, Ohio, also assisted the team. Wing, a 1991 Northern alumnus, and Smith, a 1993 Northern alumnus, served as master teachers and worked intensely with the estimating team on a weekly basis since last fall.

Members of the ONU team were Brittney Burgett, a senior civil engineering major from Fredericktown, Ohio; Kacey Smith, a senior civil engineering major from Weston, Ohio; John Mackey, a senior civil engineering major from Harrod, Ohio; Mitchell Vincent, a senior civil engineering major from Delphos, Ohio; Kevin Gilbert, a sophomore civil engineering major from Cincinnati, Ohio; and Korey Sarven, a freshman civil engineering major from Lima, Ohio.

The annual OCA-sponsored competition gives each university a project that previously was awarded to and then built by an OCA member. Each team receives a complete set of plans and specifications, a partially completed bid, a worksheet and labor and equipment rates. The teams must then calculate take-off and pricing of individual items of work, the scheduling of specific activities and work-method descriptions. Each team must answer contract questions drawn from the documents. At "bid time," each team submits a completed bid document and an organized binder containing all papers associated with the tasks. Each team has eight hours to complete the project.