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Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
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November 14, 2006 12:26 PM CST

New BAC/IMI National Training Center


The International Masonry Institute (IMI) has an extensive network of training centers and programs serving members of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and signatory contractors. In early 2007, IMI will unveil the network's crown jewel, the BAC/IMI National Training Center in Bowie, Md. The architect on the project is Stanley Tigerman, FAIA, of Tigerman-McCurry Architects in Chicago, with J. Vinton Schafer of Abingdon, Md., as the construction manager.

Situated on a 25-acre campus between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, the two-building complex includes a 61,000-square-foot training center and a 45,500-square-foot, three-story dormitory building with recreation facilities, cafeteria, meeting rooms and dorm rooms for 108 students. The two-story training center, which features an open bay to allow for flexible class setups, also has classrooms and design studios.

Not surprisingly, the showcase campus is being constructed of high-quality masonry materials, primarily brick, stone and concrete masonry units. The structural system is reinforced masonry walls with concrete slabs on grade and pre-cast concrete floors.

The completed facility will accommodate over 2,000 students annually, and the site is approved for an additional dormitory wing. The center's design will allow IMI to expand the craft training programs offered to all levels of craftworkers, from pre-job apprentices to journeymen and instructors, plus educational programs for the design and building professions, and the popular Masonry Camp. The flagship facility will also reinforce training programs at the BAC local level and expand research and development efforts.

"This facility will give us a world-class training campus, and allow us to offer even more to BAC members, as well as to the design and building professions," said BAC President and IMI Co-chair, John J. Flynn. "That is going to strengthen masonry's position in the marketplace."

"The center will provide state-of-the-art instruction, curriculum and materials," added IMI President, Joan Calambokidis.

As anticipation builds for the center's completion, some of the most excited people are those BAC members helping to build it, including employees of Caretti Inc. of Camp Hill, Pa., and Broadcast Design & Construction of Mt. Clemens, Mich.

Caretti foreman, Chuck Bowman, a member of BAC Local 1 MD/VA/DC, appreciates the promise of lifelong learning opportunities that the center holds for all BAC members, including him. "I think about that every time I come to work," he said.

With advanced offerings like supervisor certification or training in new materials, everyone stands to win, said layout man, Art Feeser, from Local 1, who is "proud" to be a part of it. "The more you know, the more you're worth," he said.

To follow the NTC construction progress, go to

About the Author

The International Masonry Institute (IMI) is a strategic alliance between the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and their contractors, promoting quality masonry construction. For more information visit


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