Though nobody in her family worked in the trades, current P&C intern, Allison Carpenter was always drawn to the creation of new things. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, a self-taught mechanic and unafraid of new experiences, Allison would pass construction sites and wonder what unique steps went into the making of something as complex as a building. And so, it’s fitting that she now finds herself working at one of P&C’s most active and unique sites: the Robert Libke Public Safety Building in Oregon City. Named after Reserve Officer Robert Libke who was killed in the line of duty in 2013, the project involves the construction of a new one-story building massing with Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) bearing walls and a roof structure with glu-laminated wood (glulam) beams that will be left exposed to the interior. Not only will the new building make an ideal place for emergency response, it will serve as a cornerstone of public safety for the community. For Allison, she will be able to look back and say, as she puts it, “I’m proud to have helped build that.”
Though a career in engineering might have always seemed like a good fit, Allison’s path to P&C was a bit more circuitous. A friend of a neighbor happened to work in construction and introduced Allison to one of our Project Managers, who also happens to oversee our internship program. One of the more unique aspects of our program is that it runs throughout the year; during winter and spring break in addition to the longer summer breaks. As such, Allison first spent a week at the Robert Libke site during her winter break. “Starting in the winter helped me to know what to expect when I returned in June,” she told us. “It’s crazy to see how fast the construction has moved since I was here last.” Shadowing the Project Engineer, Allison attends regular meetings, liaises with subcontractors, and tours the site frequently as one of the project’s “Social Distancing Officers” (SDO).
Currently studying Construction Engineering Management at Oregon State University, Allison hasn’t decided where exactly she sees herself in the future. However, she definitely sees the virtue in first-hand experience. Interning with P&C will allow her to directly connect the things she learns on site with her studies at OSU. Not only will this assist with future studies, it will help her figure out where in the construction industry she belongs.
This is the third in a series of blogs highlighting our awesome interns and the work their doing. Keep an eye out for more postings throughout the summer.