Job Corp Students go on Medical Mart field trip
The students of the UBC Job Corps, Cleveland Job Corps Center, attended a field trip Friday August 19, 2011 to a work-in-progress construction project-The Cleveland Medical Mart. The project is the largest, publically funded construction project in the entire United States. The total estimated cost is presently Four Hundred Sixty-five Million Dollars. It is being constructed at the location of the former Cleveland Convention Center. Once completed, the facility will offer one million square feet of Class A exhibit space with many additional amenities. One such amenity is a Grand Ballroom with foodservice to accommodate 2,500 guests; which will be the largest of its kind in Cleveland.
The Turner Construction Company (Construction Managers) and Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. of Chicago (Owners) graciously hosted this educational experience. Multiple topics were presented, prior to the foot tour, so the students could understand the overall significance and potential impact of this project. The theme that was continually stressed was opportunity; “Providing opportunities for people that are willing to work.”
As is customary in our industry, the students and instructors were stopped at the entry gate to state their business. We were immediately directed to Turner Construction’s Field Office for a safety orientation. Marcus Henry, Project Manager for Turner Construction extended his welcome and explained jobsite safety protocol and its strict enforcement at multiple levels. Contractors, sub-contractors, employees and their guests are all held accountable to the established safety standards. Failure to comply would result in removal from the site, fines and/or contract termination. It was clearly stated that we as guests were expected to comply with the established standards.
Mr. Dave Johnson, Site Director and spokesman M.M.P.I., was introduced by Mr. Henry; a multi-topic presentation followed. The site plan initially served as the point of reference for the students. All phases of the project were covered (site procurement, demolition, work in and around occupied facilities, LEED Certification, controlled access areas, shoring of Lakeside Ave., micro-pile installation, caisson drilling, sheet piling, wood piling, and foundation walls) so that once we entered the excavation each segment of the building process that was observed would have meaning.
The excavation was entered via 5 story, site built construction access stair tower that took us below Lakeside Ave. Kevin Tuminello, Project Manager for Turner Construction joined Mr. Henry and Mr. Johnson to lend his expertise of the in-progress site work to the tour. His initial introduction referenced the need for our conformity to the established safety standards. Each stop along the tour substantiated Mr. Johnsons introduction with an up close view of the workers, techniques and machinery used to complete the process. As a group we were asked to return to the staging area at the top of the stair tower for a brief discussion before returning to Turner’s Field Office. To our surprise, we were met by Cleveland City Council Member Jeff Johnson, who greeted each student and reinforced the notion of opportunity that such a large public project presented.
Upon return to the field office the terms: Critical Path, Project Diversity, and Accountability were introduced and defined. Once again, Mr. Johnson of M.M.P.I. stressed that opportunities (in construction) are available to people that are willing to work. The Safety Director of Turner Construction, Carlos Figueroa stopped for a routine site visit, introduced himself to the students and inquired about their safety observations. For example, what types of Personal Protective Equipment did they see being utilized by the site workers? Why were the various forms of PPE used? What noises seemed out of place? What did some of the audible alarms mean? Our final minutes with our hosts were spent reflecting on the observations and experiences of the students while on site.
by David Lummus Lead instructor for the U.B.C. Carpentry program