Project Engineers at McBride Share More Than a Name
When Matt Rose was nine years old, he led his neighborhood friends in a construction project: building a tree house in his backyard. Today, he is building more than tree houses. He's building schools.
The 35-year old Connecticut native is one of two project engineers — both named Matt and both Long Beach residents — who have worked on the new McBride High School job for the past two years.
The other engineer is Matt Sears, who also works for Hensel Phelps, the general contractor on the $75 million school building project. Rose and Sears have worked together to coordinate more than 40 subcontractors, starting with the pre-construction phase in July of 2011 to project completion this past summer.
McBride is the first high school to be built in the district in a generation. Constructed on the site of the former DeMille Middle School, McBride is the second new school be funded by Measure K, the school bond initiative passed by voters in 2008 (Nelson Academy, the new middle school that opened in Signal Hill last year, was the first).
“McBride was a large project that went extremely well,” said Vince Marchetti, construction coordinator for the district. “On some days, we had 300 construction workers on the site, and it was project managers and engineers like Sears and Rose who really kept everything on track.”
Sears and Rose agreed that the team effort was what helped make this project such a success.
"We had a group of people who all had a common goal — and everyone worked together to help resolve issues before they became problems,” said Rose.
As a project engineer for more than ten years, Rose has worked on four school projects and numerous other commercial construction jobs throughout Southern California.
"This is the closest I’ve ever lived to a job site,” he said of his ten-minute daily commute to McBride High School.
After graduating from high school in Canton, Connecticut, Rose came West to study construction management at North Arizona University. Upon graduation, he started working as a project engineer and hasn’t looked back.
"I always enjoyed building things, and I feel fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living,” Rose said.
Similarly, Matt Sears recalls also enjoying building things as a youth.
"The best advice I can give to anyone who wants a career as a project engineer is to start working in the field of construction,” he said. "Get an entry level job with a reputable company and learn from watching what they do.”
That may be advice well-taken by McBride High School’s engineering academy students, who are already reaping the benefits of the experience and hard work of the two Matts from Long Beach.
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