The bricklaying and masonry students at Southwest Tech have many reasons to smile over the holiday break. Julian Graser, Fennimore; Tony Serstad, Platteville; Kelton Prine, Darlington; Keith Moore, Livingston; and Dustin O’Connell, Prairie du Chien, have claimed first place over 45 finalists in the “Crews That Rock,” contest sponsored by the World of Concrete trade show. Over 13,000 votes were submitted for projects completed all over the world to the four-week long contest where the public was asked to select the most unique and inspiring project.
“I was notified by the organizers of the contest that we had won by an overwhelming amount of votes,” Instructor Don Borchert said. “The students couldn’t believe they won, they were just ecstatic.”
Borchert nominated his crew of students for the contest after they donated time and labor to the Grant Regional Health Center Foundation by laying and sealing engraved bricks within the hospital’s Memory Walk. The Memory Walk was designed to form a sidewalk and patio area surrounding the Healing Garden, an outdoor space for patients, family, and friends to reflect, relax, and enjoy a quiet conversation. The Memory Walk was also created to provide tribute through the purchase of an engraved brick or paver.
As the winners of the competition, each student will receive airfare, hotel, and specialty seminars at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas, the biggest trade show in the bricklaying industry.
“This is the first group of students that will attend the World of Concrete show,” Borchert stated. “I am very excited they will have this opportunity to expand their knowledge and network with professionals in the industry.”
“The students and I would like to thank everyone who voted for their support,” Borchert commented. “It makes me proud that the people of southwest Wisconsin would come together and make something like this a reality.”