Elmer Felix feels grateful.
With his eye on a University of Oregon architecture degree, landing an internship at Central Oregon Community College’s very busy construction office is great experience and with millions of dollars in construction happening at the COCC and Redmond campuses, it’s an opportunity not likely to come along again in the same way any time soon.
“They take me out on the construction sites. It helps me see what it’s really like,” said Felix. “It’s incredible.”
Felix is drawing a 3-D model on Google Sketch up of the Madras campus. He also looks through the “spec” books every day . The books outline all the very specific details of the project. There has also been opportunities to meet and get advice from visiting architects.
According to the construction office, he’s the first intern, and has made the experience a positive one for them as well.
“He’s a great kid,” said Rich Brecke, construction manager. “Super polite, respectful.”
Even though he’s new, and the first intern that has been taken on, Felix feels like a valued member of the construction team.
“If I have an idea, they take it into consideration,” he said. “I am really excited that they consider me a part of this group.”
In turn, members of the construction team are impressed with Felix and his dedication. Rick Hayes said that he was impressed with Felix’s persistence.
“He sought out this opportunity,” said Hayes.
Felix has one more year at COCC. For next year, he is looking into an internship at an architect’s office as he works his way toward graduating with an architectural degree.
“I look forward to seeing him get through that,” said Hayes of Felix’s plans.
When asked about which building is his favorite, Felix chose the science building “because of the view it’s going to have.”
Felix is grateful to Evelia Sandoval, the COCC Latino program coordinator, who was encouraging to Felix and introduced him to the construction crew.
“I want to give a special thanks to Evelia and to the construction crew,” he said.
Kirsteen Wolf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org