In an unprecedented history-making performance, the ACE Mentor team from Central Iowa again took home top honors for the second year in a row, being crowned National Champions in the thirteenth annual CIRT Design & Construction Competition. The three finalist had survived a grueling preliminary round that saw a record-setting 64 entries to vie against each other in the final presentation round during the ACE Mentor of America’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and All-Affiliates Conference, at the National Harbor, MD Gaylord Resort Hotel, on May 14, 2019. A distinguished panel of judges was headed by Thomas Gilbane, Jr. (Gilbane Building Company), included: Denise Ramsey (Haskell Company), Tim Faerber (HNTB Corporation), Tom Donnelly (BrightView Landscaping Development), and Scott Seltz (ENR). At the gala dinner, before some 400 guests, CIRT President, Mark A. Casso announced the order of finish as follows:
It took the judges two ballots to ultimately determine a winner after carefully analyzing the quality of the presentations as well as the underlying entry’s design/construction approaches within the project’s objectives while being fully responsive to the competition package elements in the challenge/option. In the end, the judges balanced the outcome on the basis of the two major elements: quality of presentation and competence of the overall entry. The winning entry exhibited an extraordinary versatility and responsiveness to the criteria of the challenge, while remaining within the limits of constructability and budget.
- First Place and a prize of $5,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa: for their Play Ground/Scape entry: “Unboxed;”
- Second Place and a prize of $3,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York (Team 30) for their Alleviate Urban Transportation Congestion entry: “Crosstown;” and
- Third Place and a prize of $2,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Hawaii for their Community Health Clinic entry: “War Natatorium Health Clinic.”
Six other teams were also recognized as either First Runner-Up ($1,000 prize) or Second Runner-Up ($500 prize) in each of the three different design challenges or options. Among this elite group were:
Play Ground/Scape Challenge (which had 22 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Chicago/Team 5 for “Tamin’ the Damen/Kara Park;” 2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor Program of Central Florida for “Park n’ Rec Innovative Playscape;”
Alleviate Urban Transportation Congestion Challenge (which had 14 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Philadelphia/Team 10-WRT for “Artery Relief;” 2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater NYC/Team 8 for “L.I. City Auto-no-mous Rapid Transit;”
Community Health Clinic Challenge (which had 28 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Chicago/Team 4 for “El Centro;” 2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor Program of San Diego, CA for “South Bay Community Health Clinic at SWHS”
The CIRT National Design & Construction Competition is a collaborative effort with the ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Council. This year experienced not only a record number of entries but also equaled the highest number of ACE Affiliates/Chapters represented with a total of 607 students (from 200 schools) and 385 mentors and professionals (from 149 firms) participating. To watch the competition VIEW HERE.