Colorado State Students and Hensel Phelps Renovate Center for Troubled Youth

Colorado State University construction management students and Hensel Phelps Construction Co. have completed a $205,000 community service project to renovate a treatment center for troubled children and adolescents.

Using volunteer labor and donated equipment and supplies, students in the Construction Management Club were assisted by Hensel Phelps in a project which added 2,200 square feet to the Turning Point Center and renovated a portion of the existing facility. Students provided more than 4,000 hours of volunteer labor over a two-year period, bringing the project to completion ahead of schedule and under budget.

"For Turning Point, the physical facility is vital because it becomes a home for our clients," said Amy Berkner, president of Turning Point. "This renovation will not only make our work significantly easier and better, it will help in providing our clients and staff with a sense of community."

Turning Point Center provides outpatient and residential treatment for children and adolescents who are experiencing family, behavior, emotional, educational, legal, or drug and alcohol problems.

The additional space will be used for a dining room, recreation room, bedrooms, dayrooms and classrooms.

"We owe a lot to the construction industry and community who pulled together to donate supplies, equipment and labor," said Jason Conrad, a student intern on the project. "We had a really great turnout during the school year, but because of the scale of the project, it was a challenge to hold it together. That’s where Hensel Phelps came in. They helped us organize."

Hensel Phelps assigned a superintendent to the project and provided coordination and management, while students did most of the labor and solicited help from engineers, subcontractors, material suppliers, faculty members and individual and corporate donors.

"The construction industry is proud to be a part of the community on a project like this," said Jerry Pault, operation manager of Hensel Phelps. "This was an opportunity to do something special and give back to the community. Industry is interested in giving students a chance to learn beyond the classroom. This project accomplished that with a good cause as a beneficiary."

Going into the project, Turning Point committed $60,000 from their budget toward the renovation, which cost about $205,000. Colorado State students and Hensel Phelps committed their time and solicited equipment, supplies and labor. Students set a goal to cut Turning Point’s expenditures in half, and because of the successful solicitation of donations and volunteer labor, they met the goal, reducing Turning Point’s contribution to $30,000.

The project emerged as part of a 50-year anniversary celebration of Colorado State’s construction management program. When Larry Grosse, department head of manufacturing technology and construction management at Colorado State, first heard of the scope of the project, he thought it was too ambitious for students to take on. Grosse said he changed his mind when he learned that Hensel Phelps wanted to back the project, and that students had set up a formal structure, including assigned positions for foremen and budgeting, marketing and accounting departments.

"The project gave us real-world experience and the volunteers from Hensel Phelps gave us technical advice and taught us proper, safe procedures," said Ryan Haverland, student project manager. "There were days when kids from Tuning Point came to work along side us, and our motivation also came from knowing how the end result would benefit them. Those kids are fighting an uphill battle, and it’s great that we could help them."