California State University, Chico, Concrete Industry Management Program students volunteered for a 10-week summer Field School to evaluate, preserve and repair deteriorated concrete structures at Alcatraz Island, home to the notorious prison. Under the guidance of National Park Service (NPS) Historical Architect Jason Hagin and CalState Chico CIM Director Tanya Wattenburg Komas, the team conferred with the university's College of Engineering faculty, industry experts and NPS staff on near-term work, plus future projects at the San Francisco Bay landmark.
A successful pilot will set the stage for future years of the Field School. The student team has done a tremendous job with the technical, historical, ecological, archaeological, logistical, and a myriad of other concerns that we are dealing with on a daily basis [involving] a National Historic Landmark, says Komas.
The students were housed at a restored officers' barracks in the Marin Headlands on the north side of the bay. The Alcatraz Island stint fulfilled a mandatory internship requirement designed for immersion in a real and practical work place, better preparing candidates for technical and managerial work upon CIM degree completion. The Alcatraz program is funded through a Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy/Cultural Resource Stewardship grant, with additional support from BASF and CIM patrons.