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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State recognized with national community service award

AGC planted trees in Humboldt neighborhood park, at Willow and Humboldt Streets. Photo credit: Katelyn Somers

Chico State won third place in a national award for the 2015 National Outstanding Student Chapter Competition. This marks the sixth year since 2009 that Chico State has earned a place for this national award. In 2014 Chico State took first place.

Ever year Chico State’s Associated General Contractors of America club puts special community projects together. The project betters local environments and property in Chico. It pursues local middle and high school students to help plan, design and create projects within construction, according to Alan Bond, lecturer of the Construction Management department.

Alan Bond is the faculty adviser for AGC. Photo credit: Katelyn Somers

The AGC was created in 1979, although it had a slight downfall until the club was reinstated back in 2008 by David Shirah, Bond said.

Bond was a student at Chico State in the 1980s and was a club member during his time on campus. In 2011 Bond took over for Shirah as faculty advisor of the club.

“(The award) says we’re on the right track,” he said. “We’re doing things that are valued by others.”

The club currently holds 140 student volunteers and is always looking for more students to give back to the community.

“It’s amazing what this university can produce on a national level,” Bond said.

Jimmy Bryars, senior Construction Management major, said that AGC helps him get involved on campus. Photo credit: Katelyn Somers

Jimmy Bryars, senior construction management major, is the current president of the AGC and has been involved with the club since 2013. Bryars said that the best part of the club is getting involved and feeling connected to his fellow students. He also likes the club’s focus on organization. The award itself is the highest honor, he said.

“This organization helps you learn to be organized,” Bryars said. “Learning different personalities and managing those people and working with different characteristics.”

Such projects include the Blitz plant project where the volunteers planted 32 native trees around the city in areas that had very little plant life. Other projects such as the Architecture Construction Engineering Mentor programs mentor high school students and help them pursue careers in construction. It’s also a yearlong process which allows the students to design different projects. This year, they created chicken coops.

AGC planted trees in areas around Chico that lacked vegetation. Map courtesy of AGC.

Career GPS is an annual event where high school students have exposure to the field and careers of construction management.

The AGC club participated in The Green Apple Day of Service, a community service project. It painted structures at the Marigold Elementary School in Chico.

“It’s really not about the projects. It’s about seeing the students get involved and teaching them how to do this stuff and them getting the credit for it,” Bond said. “When they go help out high school students, the high school students and our students win. When we go help the community, the community wins and our college students win.”

With the new year of 2016 starting up, the AGC has already been preparing for its upcoming projects. One project includes volunteering at the Jesus Center in Chico to help feed the homeless.

Another project includes helping families with children in need of medical attention for long hospital stays. AGC wants to create new housing for such patients who can stay free of charge. The club is still waiting for the necessary permits to start this project, Bond said. Many projects are still up for discussion. However, the club looks forward to improving and doing more than they did the previous year.

“For this semester I’m looking forward to do as we’ve always done,” Bryars said, “something to help improve the community.”

Bond hopes to enlarge the club’s members for this year and pursue Chico State students to help make the community of Chico better.

Bridget Comito can be reached at [email protected] or @bcineg1992 on Twitter.

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