Before Luis Monroy heads back to his Harper College architecture classes this fall, he'll assist with the $38.1 million renovation of the Engineering and Technology Center that houses the program as part of an internship with the company chosen to renovate campus.
Monroy, selected by Power Construction for a summer role that mirrors the path of a full-time project engineer, will review shop drawings and submittals, monitor steel fabrication, perform quality control checks in the field, coordinate drawings and help select building materials for renovation projects campuswide as he literally helps build his future.
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"He'll be able to see the kind of work he's doing in class take shape in the real world, with real problems and concerns," Associate Professor Carl Dittburner says. "This time on a construction site will also let him observe a project much larger in scope than many students have long-term access to at this point in their education."
Monroy was chosen by Harper architecture faculty this year as the Association of Licensed Architects Student Award of Merit winner. His talents also impressed Power enough to award him the summer internship, which typically would be reserved for someone further along in their education.
The Arlington Heights resident caught the architecture bug after taking technical drawing classes at Wheeling High School, where he also got involved with a hands-on building construction project.
The Power internship will pick up where he left off in his spring Building Materials 1 class at Harper. "It can sometimes be challenging to look at a 2-D drawing and think of it in a 3-D mentality," Monroy says. "Now I will have already seen it in 3-D, and when I get back to the classroom I'm going to have an easier time understanding what I'm looking at on paper."
Harper's ongoing physical transformation includes the renovation and expansion of Buildings D and H on the campus' north and east sides. They'll be transformed into state-of-the-art spaces for career and technical programs -- from interior and fashion design and architecture to advanced manufacturing and HVAC -- and redesigned to better host the Math, Adult Education and Access and Disability Services departments and the Kimball Hill Family Deaf Institute, which serves students from across Illinois.