By Rudy Garza
As a member of the masonry industry just imagine if there were a way to have tens of thousands of Architectural and Construction Science college students exposed to a mockup of a Total Masonry Wall System almost every day. Imagine if part of the curriculum of those programs included spending time studying the wall system with a hands-on approach. Now imag- ine if that wall system and curriculum approach was in place at every major university in Texas. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it? I mean seriously, can you imagine the impact exposure to a mock up Total Masonry Wall system would have on these students in the future when they design and build hospitals, schools, court houses, and the like.
Well stop imaging, because it’s well on the way to becoming a reality. Last year TMC executive vice president, Rudy Garza, proposed the idea to the TMC Board of Director and received permission to proceed with the program. Garza (Class of 1990) met with officials at Texas A&M University in College Station about constructing a mock up Total Masonry Wall System in the courtyard of the newly renovated Construction Science Building, which is located next to the School of Architecture. The goal was to place an “exposed” Total Masonry Wall where students from both programs would pass by it almost daily. The wall system would also be integrated into curriculum instruction for the construction science and architecture students.
After months of negotiations and site preparation, the Total Masonry Wall was constructed in what will become a future “Wall Garden” in the TAMU Construction Science Building courtyard. Camarata Masonry Systems, which was working on the Kyle Field Renovations, volunteered to build the wall. Thanks to the hard work of Rene Lozano of Camarata Masonry Systems, the wall was completed during the Christmas Break so that returning students would see it when they returned to spring classes.
“The idea is that when you expose architectural and construction science college students to a hands-on wall system, they will be more inclined to design and build it once they are in professional practice,” said Rudy Garza. “This is the very first time we have had an actual Total Masonry Wall system on a college campus specifically for instructional purposes. The ultimate goal is to have the same wall system built on every major college campus in Texas.”