UACCM Drafting Students Complete Cost-Saving Project

University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton school officials worked with students in the drafting program to create updated fire evacuation plans for nearly every building on campus.  While there are companies that offer this service, allowing the students to complete this project as part of their classroom experience gave them real world experience and saved the college between $30,000 and $50,000.
The project began in November of 2015 with students scanning in the near 800 as-built drawings of the various buildings and additions on campus, going all the way back to 1963.  In January of 2016, the students site-verified the location of every fire extinguisher, emergency fire lights, and fire pulls by working their way through every building on campus.  From there they traced the building floorplans into Revit, a drafting software program, which allows UACCM to have the entire campus’ plans available and editable electronically.  With the plans now computerized, the location of the emergency equipment was easily added, and new emergency exit maps will be posted in nearly every classroom by August of 2016. 
Copies of these maps will be provided to the local EMS, the Morrilton Police Department, and the Conway County Sheriff’s office so that they have these to reference in case of emergency. The maps will be labeled with a code, and the corresponding building will display that code with vinyl stickers in the window.  This will aid in their response to emergency situations.
Approximately 20 students from the project drafting and commercial drafting courses, as well as the drafting club and one intern, participated in this project.  Jayson Millheim, drafting instructor, said, “This project is one of the most real-world projects I could envision for the students.  In the process of this project, every student had a shining point.  They each used their strengths and backgrounds to lead where they could to a successful finish of the project.”
While this project provided important lessons on drafting and collaborative work to the students, it also provided many benefits to UACCM.  Along with the cost savings, this project provides a way to look at a building without having to look through several different drawings, depending on how many additions and renovations have been made.  It also allows for better educated decisions when it comes to future projects on the buildings.  The scanning of these drawings has electronically archived the drawings so that they can be accessed through the UACCM server, instead of having to dig through near 60-year-old paper copies, and the information on the drawings is now preserved and no longer at risk of loss or damage.

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