A contingent of construction science majors from Texas A&M University travelled from the classroom to the work site and got a close-up look at the operations of the demolition and recycling company Cherry Companies of Houston.
Cherry is a member of the National Demolition Association (NDA )’s Construction Industry Advisory Council (CIAC), and served as host to the students.
“We have a great time exposing these students to the role that specialty contractors play in the construction industry,” says Leonard Cherry, president of Cherry Cos. The Texas A&M program works closely with the NDA to pique students’ interest in the many aspects of commercial construction work, including estimating, scheduling, project management and contract law.
“The NDA is most interested in establishing relationships with schools like Texas A&M and our long-time ally, Purdue University, so that our members meet construction science students and vice versa,” says Kim Wieland, NDA’s director of member services.
The NDA notes that it offers internship opportunities to construction management majors interested in the field.
The Texas A&M students travelled to Houston to view some of the latest demolition and recycling techniques. Cherry specializes in removing a variety of structures – from highways and bridges to industrial plants and commercial buildings – and recycles the vast majority of what it demolishes. Among the most commonly recycled materials are concrete, asphalt, steel, composition shingles and tires.
Cherry says that it is one of the largest recyclers in Texas and the Gulf Coast area; the company estimates that it processes more than two million tons of recycled, stabilized materials per year at all its recycling centers.
The tour included a visit to the Houston site where an implosion of Macy’s department store took place last year. There, a crew of more than 120 workers from various Cherry divisions coordinated all aspects of the 10-story building implosion. Workers were able to remove and recycle around 50,000 tons of material.
“I really appreciate getting to learn more about how demolition specialty contractors like Cherry work, because it gives me better insight about bringing these types of companies on future jobs,” says Texas A&M Senior Blake Bell, who has already lined up a project manager job with Balfour Beatty, a global infrastructure services business.