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Hands On Experience: Concept to Completion at SDSU

The PCI Foundation-sponsored architectural studio and construction management class at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD just finished its first year and has something really big to show for it. The students partnered with the rural town of Mobridge, SD to create a town gathering place in a square used for many local celebrations. Working with Gage Brothers in Sioux Falls, SD, the students not only designed the project but had a hand in fabricating it and erecting it -- all to some great results.

"We've built a very nice town square with precast concrete," says Professor Brian Rex who lead the team.

All the erection work was done by a Hutterite crane operator and welder who’d never worked with precast and a seven student team—who did the heavy lifting.

"The students are changed people," says Rex. "I’ve completely rethought so much about what and why we teach what we teach through this project." 

"It was a fun project that turned out great!  It is so much easier and FUN to teach the 20 something young architects than it is to convert the 50 year old ones," says Tom Kelley, president of Gage Brothers. "What a great investment in these young minds."

A new project is already being planned for the architectural and construction management schools in South Dakota. "We are finalizing our agreement with Huron, South Dakota to erect a facade on their main street in a lot where there is a pass through park to a parking lot behind the main street," says Rex. 

You can keep up to date with what is happening at the SDSU school of architecture by following its facebook page at 

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