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“Believe you can, and you're halfway there."  - Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President

On April 24, 2023 the CIRT National Design and Construction Competition Worthy National Finalists* presented their projects to a panel of top executives in the construction, engineering, architecture, and design industries. The winners are:



ACE Mentor Program of Illinois - Chicago Team 11 for their "Starlight School"



ACE Mentor Program of Southern Nevada - Magnum Opus Design for their "Santa Teresa Humanitarian Center"



ACE Mentor Program of Colorado - Colorado Springs for their "Martin W. Drake Community Open Space" 

The CIRT Competition celebrates the innovations and contributions the design/construction community makes to the quality of American life, while understanding the issues and challenges the industry faces to deliver on this legacy. The Competition is maintained, coordinated, and judged by Construction Industry Round Table is intended for ACE Mentor Affiliate team entries. 

2023 National Finalists

This year we received a total of 48 entries from across the country. On behalf of the Preliminary Round Judges, Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT) and the ACE Mentor Program of America, we are very pleased to announce the top three Worthy National Finalists*, and the 1st and 2nd Runners Up for each challenge of the 2023 CIRT National Design & Construction CompetitionAs in the past, only three garnered the coveted right to go onto the Final Presentation Round.

The Worthy National Finalists vie for the top prize of $5,000 in the National Presentation Round (see below for details).

*The Worthy National Finalists are named in honor of the late Ed Worthy, a longstanding and influential leader in the ACE Mentor Program.

School of the Future - 23 Entries

The Challenge: Envision and reimagine a sustainable, net-zero, viable design/construction solution for a school of the future, consider all the elements from site selection to construction materials, methods, timelines, and budgets, etc. to meet the educational, health, safety, food service, technical application, security, and social needs/norms through use of design and construction techniques. Read full description.

1st Runner Up: ACE Mentor Program of Greater Milwaukee - Milwaukee Team H for their "Kinnickinnic School of Sciences"

2nd Runner Up: ACE Mentor Program of Illinois - Chicago Team 1 for their "K-Town Innovation Center - Chicago's High School of the Future"

Confluence | Landscape Architecture, Planning + Urban Design

City Park / Open Spaces - 9 Entries

The Challenge: With the recent experiences from COVID, urban dwellers are seeking alternatives to their dense, tight living conditions (causing some to flee urban centers). Provide another alternative by creating sustainable, inviting, secure open spaces that will provide relief, activities, to a welcoming useful area. Read full description.

1st Runner Up: ACE Mentor Program Inland Empire - Team Green Land Park for "The Crossing at East Cut - Renovation"

2nd Runner Up: ACE Mentor Program of Greater Washington Metro Area, Inc. - McKinley Tech High School for "The PLACE"

WashU Expert: Immigration architecture and the border - The Source - Washington University in St. Louis

Humanitarian Center / Border Relief - 16 Entries

The Challenge: Every day thousands of people arrive along the border of the United States, overwhelming even the most basic humanitarian support from health care, hygiene, food supplies, to temporary housing as they await disposition and legal processing. Design a prototype to direct the flow to centers, handle the multitude of needs, and address security, safety, language, gender, ages, varied timelines and comfort of the influx of people. Read full description.

1st Runner Up: ACE Mentor Program of Illinois - Chicago Team 7 for their "Desert Sanctuary"

2nd Runner Up: ACE Mentor Los Angeles Metropolitan Area - STEM Academy of Hollywood for their "Out of the Box Border Relief"


Thank you for an incredible and competitive year - the jury is consistently impressed with the quality and level of the participating teams' work.  If you are interested in learning more about the jury process and how they assess the projects you can read a bit more from Mark Casso, CIRT CEO and founder of the competition:

Questions? Mark Casso - mcasso@cirt.org

Jenni Mushynski - Jenni@cirt.org

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