OSU students provide new perspective for SAIF’s Salem renovation

Students preparing for national competition work with Lease Crutcher Lewis to practice managing construction site

posted December 14, 2016

Oregon State University students in the College of Engineering practiced responding to a request for proposal (RFP) late last month by presenting to members of construction firm Lease Crutcher Lewis and the SAIF project management team working on the renovation of the organization's High Street building.

The presentation was part of the student's preparation for an Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) competition in February next year. The six students, part of the College of Engineering's Construction Engineering and Management program, are being mentored by Lease Crutcher Lewis for the competition over the course of a 10-week class. Lewis was selected by SAIF in May 2015 as the general contractor on the renovation of SAIF's Salem campus, which is expected to be completed in April 2018.

"For the company, the value is to get in front of the kids for recruitment and build those relationships," said Lauren Holmes, project manager at Lease Crutcher Lewis and former participant in the OSU program. "For me it's kind of like giving back to the community, to be able to provide that opportunity for the kids to feel prepared and come back with a trophy."

The class is studying two "real world" examples, including spending the last five weeks learning about SAIF's Salem campus renovation, where they discussed concrete, structural, new building construction, renovation, seismic upgrades, and key phases of the project, including budget, contingency, scheduling and building. This culminated in a written RFP document and presentation, where the students discussed minimizing disruption of the residential community, and the importance of safety throughout the duration of the project, among other topics.

"Safety isn't just a priority for us. It's part of our culture," said student William Mau in the presentation, echoing SAIF and Lewis' own commitment to safety throughout the project.

"Every day of every week I see Lewis really paying attention to potential risks and addressing them to prevent accidents," said Marsha Malonson, director of administrative services for SAIF and project manager for the renovation. "It was reassuring to see that this came across so clearly to the students who presented, as well—they clearly ‘get us.'"

The students will compete at the ASC competition February 8 in Sparks, Nevada. Last year, Oregon State teams placed first in mechanical construction and third in both determining project risk and mixed use.

About SAIF
SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit, state-chartered workers' compensation insurance company. Since 1914 it has been caring for injured workers and helping to make workplaces safer. For more, visit the About SAIF page on


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