Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings



Inclusive pages

22.1434.1 - 22.1434.15


American Society for Engineering Education

Place of Publication

Vancouver, BC



Peer Reviewed



In 2010, a collaborative effort between a nonprofit trail advocacy organization, a small rural Indiana city, trade unions, grantmaking organizations, materials suppliers, contractors, and the Construction Engineering Technology program at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) led to the successful construction of a trailhead building in a city park. Multidisciplinary collaboration began with a design charrette in January, bringing together architects, brickmasons, carpenters, electricians, engineers, greenbuilding experts, landscapers, professors, and students. Starting with a site plan by a local architect and a construction blueprint from another trailhead elsewhere in the state, charrette participants improved the design and site location. Students completed the design, obtained approval from the customer (the nonprofit trail group), and obtained approval from local and state governments. Because this was a capstone course, students were required to demonstrate knowledge and skills they acquired during their four-year degree program. As such, they created the blueprints of the new design, estimated costs and materials, scheduled the construction, and fulfilled the role of project manager. Construction professionals mentored the students as they built the trailhead restroom. The magic words “student project” led to substantial donations of money, labor, excavating, and materials from many sources. As a result, the project was completed at one-quarter the price bid by a private contractor. Assessment of student learning was conducted by the instructor, departmental colleagues, and working construction professionals.


Construction, trailhead, capstone


Construction Engineering and Management



Link to Original Published Item