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AdminAug 18, 2016 3:58:39 AM2 min read

Play Your ACE

Last week, Cushing had the pleasure of joining the ACE Mentor Program’s Design Build Team at the unveiling of their summer project. We got a sneak peek of the team in action, and attended a presentation where they took turns describing the process to friends and family.

ACE Presentation

The ACE Mentor Program provides students nationwide the opportunity to explore careers in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC). During a summer community design project, this team of Chicago high-school students was joined by college student assistants and led by professionals in the AEC industry.

Students met with a real client, designed and built their project, and needed to stick to a budget. This year, an incredible team of students set their sights on a piece of land in Homan Square where a building once stood in Chicago’s West Side (the site of the original Sears headquarters).

While other high school students might have been content playing video games, the ACE Design Build team spent their summer designing a structure, sourcing materials, and constructing their designs. The ACE website says it best:

“The program teaches practical design skills including brainstorming, hand-drawing, modeling with 3D software, and presentation and construction skills.  More importantly it teaches students about teamwork, community engagement and how to manage a creative design process.”

The end result? A shaded pavilion on the grounds at Homan Rails Farm. With Hugh Henry Construction to help with the formwork and concrete work on-site, via Tishman Construction and contributions from Pepper Construction and Power Construction, the team was able to complete the project under budget.

ACE Structure

Scholarships are awarded to students who see the project through from beginning to end. This summer every student who signed up for the summer session was awarded a college scholarship.

ACE Drill

Executive Vice President Joe Cushing, an ACE Mentor Program board member, and Cushing are so proud to be a print sponsor for this life-changing program. He is pictured below with Marketing Manager Jon Davis, installing a sponsor banner.

ACE Sponsor-Banners-Being-Fastened

Participants share smiles (and laughs) discussing their project.

ACE Laughing

Clouds can’t stop these ACE’s!


Program funding provided by:

Supporters and Directors of the Chicago ACE Mentor Program

Chicago Public Schools and Curie Metro High School

Cognizant Foundation

Special Thanks To These Mentors

Matt Snoap, bKL Architecture

Randy Herbstman, Halvorson Partners

Halvorson Partners
Jason Pugh, Gensler

Ventana Design Build

Ventana Design Build
Sheehan Partners Architecture and Interiors

Wight & Company

Wight Company
Randy Buescher, Epstein Global



Construction and Material support by:

Pepper Construction

Tishman Construction

Henry Hugh Construction
Ozinga Concrete


Power Construction


Other supporters include:

National ACE Mentor Program
School of the Art Institute Chicago

Magellan Development

Chicago Metal Rolled Products

Baldridge and Associates Structural Engineers

Baldridge and Associates Structural Engineers
..and other individual volunteers and supporters


And while you are here, you can also check out our coverage of the 2015 ACE Summer Design Build Competition.

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