AS A PROJECT MANAGER for Crossland Construction, Aaron Hight (BS ’03, Construction Management) is used to handling a wide variety of projects simultaneously. One of the six projects Hight managed this past summer, however, was different from any he had ever worked on.
Hight oversaw the construction of the University House, a multi-purpose building that was designed in part as the residence for the university president and his or her family and in part as a public space for hosting events and welcoming friends and alumni of the university.
The building sits on the site of the old President’s Home on the east side of the University Lake. That location was as challenging as it was beautiful, Hight said.
“The architect had in mind to build a building that looked old, but included modern technology and could stand 100 years,” Hight said. “It was a major accomplishment, especially building around the big oak trees, which are a very, very important part of the project.”
As a loyal alumnus and a former member of the Gorilla football team, Hight said he takes a lot of pride in building a structure that is destined to take its place alongside many other campus icons.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Hight said. “I’m an alumnus of Pitt and to come back and do something so special is amazing.”
Hight said he isn’t the only one on the construction team who has some Gorilla pride invested in the project.
“We (Crossland Construction) actually carry most of our workforce from PSU, either through interns or past graduates,” Hight said. “We do go down into OSU and grab some graduates, but our primary focus is Pitt State. It’s the best in the country, we’ve found, and we love to get graduates from Pitt.”
Hight said he looks forward to visiting the University House as an alumnus, without the worry and pressure of construction.
“That would be very nice,” he said, “to just go and relax. That would be awesome.”
Editor’s Note: In June, the Kansas Board of Regents approved naming of the University House for the Ivan, Sr., and Virginia Crossland family not only for their contributions as the lead donors, but also for their longstanding support of the university. The house will be known formally as the Crossland Family University House and informally as the Crossland House.