ACE Mentor Program Inspires Local Youth

AHBL’s Mike Hager mentors students interested in civil engineering

AHBL’s Mike Hager embraced an exciting opportunity to support young engineers this year when the Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE) mentorship program started a South Sound chapter. The national mentorship program seeks to inspire high school students to pursue a career in the design and construction industry. Students and mentors spend the school year developing a design concept for a project, and then give a final presentation summarizing their project.

Hager, a project engineer in our civil division, worked with a team of students who developed a design concept for a new 40,000 sf waterfront welcome center and seaplane landing dock, located at Site 12 on the Foss Waterway in Tacoma.

Students were given a Design-Build Request for Proposal, and spent the year developing design deliverables and preparing their final presentation. The group included students from all aspects of the design process, including architecture; landscape architecture; civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering; and construction management. Mentors worked with the students to help them understand more about the industry, and provided them access to resources, giving them a better understanding of each discipline.

“I enjoyed providing guidance for their final presentation.” Hager said. “It was nerve-racking for them, but it was wonderful to see the culmination of their efforts.”

Their deliverables included exterior elevations, a site plan, and a detailed project cost estimate. Students also developed a 3D Sketch Up model, which they used during their presentation. The final design included a green roof, and glass promenade, which protects the fish habitat. The building is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Nationally, nearly 2,500 mentors volunteer their time for this program, which operates 65 chapters across the nation. The program has awarded more than $14 million in scholarships to students since its inception.

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