Ball State’s Hunt Center Will Prepare Construction Management Students for Successful Careers

Words: Dan KamysAs the nation’s construction industry becomes more complex, with highly skilled managers in short supply, Ball State has created a center to prepare its students for the rapidly expanding field. The university dedicated the technologically advanced and student-centered Robert G. Hunt Center for Construction Management during a ceremony within the recently renovated Applied Technology Building. The 2,500-square-foot facility, which simulates the office environment found at major construction management organizations, is designed to foster teamwork, said James Jones, a construction management professor.   The facility’s primary use will be for the program’s capstone course, which focuses on students working in four-member teams on a construction project. Each team will have its own physical office space for the duration of the course. Students will have around-the-clock access to the center to work on assignments.   Honoring a leader in innovation The center’s name honors the program’s strongest supporters, Diane and Robert G. Hunt, ’69. He is a national a leader in innovation and excellence in the construction industry. Hunt has been an executive-in-residence for two immersive learning projects at Ball State: the first, in 2010, focused on redesigning a transportation hub in Venice, Italy, and the second, in 2012, had students evaluate Hunt Construction Group's brand image and develop a strategic brand image management plan. He is the third generation in his family to head Hunt Construction Group as its chairman and chief executive officer. Filling a need Employment for construction managers is projected to grow 5 percent annually from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to expected industry growth, there will be a need to fill a growing number of vacancies due to baby boomers retiring. Ball State’s program had a 100 percent placement rate in 2015, with recent graduates starting at an average salary of $53,000.    
Source: Marc Ransford, senior media strategist, Ball State University      
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