The Promise Bridge is seen as a connection between Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus and the main campus.
GoCreate, a Koch Collaborative, is strengthening that connection with its role in building the 300-foot-long pedestrian bridge that will span over a water feature south of the future Wayne and Kay Woolsey Hall. Woolsey Hall is the future home of the W. Frank Barton School of Business.
“This is where innovation meets WSU,” said Ken Wiseman, facilities manager for GoCreate. “We are where the community is able to do that innovation. We’re able to show (community partners) how to use this facility for what they do daily.”
GoCreate staff and Wichita State students are using their equipment and expertise to create form work for the center concrete pier for the Promise Bridge. They will model the form in their software, and the foam blocks will be pieced back together on site to create the outside form of the pier. Students will machine blocks of foam, each 4 feet by 3 feet by 8 feet, that will be used by Dondlinger Construction.
“I’ll be able to drive by it and see it and say I had a hand in that,” said Ryan Holle, a Wichita State sophomore and a technician at GoCreate. “It’s definitely been a huge learning experience for me. I’m learning at a much faster pace. You make it. You create it. Then you get to actually watch it happen."
Dondlinger, Wiseman said, wants to use local resources to cut down on lead time and expenses. The foam used in the project can often be used again in other projects, which adds sustainability.
“It’s one of those organic collaboration moments,” Wiseman said. “Instead of making the supports out of wood and outsourcing it, they’re using GoCreate’s ability to make foam molds."
Several Wichita State students are working on the project in tasks that range from computer-aided design to operating GoCreate’s CNC router and hot wire.
“The students get hands-on experience,” Wiseman said. “Students that are going to go into manufacturing or sales are part of running the machines. When they hit the real world, they understand that every company they go to has a process of learning, how do you make it better?”
The relationship between Dondlinger and GoCreate started when the company built the John Bardo Center on the Innovation Campus. Dondlinger recently installed a dust collector in GoCreate’s woodworking area. Through those connections, Dondlinger learned how GoCreate’s resources can be helpful.
“We knew (GoCreate) had the foam machine, so we reached out to (Ken) to see if that was something they could help us with,” said Jared Woody, project manager for Dondlinger. “Using somebody local is always a preference and with them being right there (on campus), it worked out pretty well.”