Anna Campos, B.S. in Architecture ‘04
Clark Construction Group, LLC.
What are your main job requirements?
What are the greatest challenges of your job?
The biggest challenge has been trying push the design at the same fast pace as the construction. For the Nationals Ballpark, it is a fast paced design-build project (23 months, which is very short for this type of project). We are literally making on-the-spot design decisions out in the field and implementing them immediately, instead of going through the typical slow-paced paper trail that most jobs require to make any sort of design change. The architects are on site full time in order to keep up with us.
Another challenge is the stress and time commitment. A job like this can wear you down quickly and take a toll on your personal life! I am not sure my friends even remember what I look like anymore!
What is one thing that you never expected you would be doing when you were in design school?
Being responsible for tens of millions of dollars.
Where is your favorite location in the new stadium for the best view?
I have two favorite locations. The first is in the upper press box because you can take in the entire ballpark at one time; you can also see all of the monuments and Capital from there. The other is on the pitcher’s mound because you can look up and turn around 360 degrees and feel humbled by its size, as well as get that feeling of "wow.” I helped make this thing happen."
If you could have taken different courses in school based on what you are now doing what would you have taken?
I am not sure if they were available at the time, but I would have loved to have taken some construction management and green building classes. I think it is very important for architecture students to be exposed to the construction side of the business, since construction and architecture go hand in hand.
How do you think that your time at the University of Maryland School of Architecture has most influenced your view toward your current job?
My time at the University of Maryland School of Architecture definitely helps me appreciate architects more than most people on the job site. I can empathize with them. Anyone who has ever worked construction knows that the architects take a lot of heat from the general contractor and subcontractors. I can relate to them in their decision-making processes. When I am out in the field and a design decision has to be made on the spot, I can think like an architect and a general contractor to help solve the problem. I also think that since I was fortunate enough to experience studio, I have some 'street credibility' with the architects!
How do you deal with being a female on a construction site?
This has never been an issue for me. Yes, construction is a male-dominated field and in all honesty it can be a bit intimidating at times, but that doesn't mean that there is no room for women. I think people would be surprised at how much times have changed in the industry. I hear stories from co-workers who have been in the business for decades and they say it was completely different 'back then.' There are definitely only a handful of women on our site, only four of us on the project management staff. As long as you hold up your end of the bargain like any other employee, I think you will be OK as a woman. Now, that's not saying I have not heard a horror story or two from co-workers about some comments from an old man who's been in the industry for decades, but thankfully I have not experienced any of that.
What other interesting things can you tell us about the construction on the new stadium?
The Ballpark will be going for a LEED certification. It will be the first professional ballpark to do so. I am in charge of all of the LEED paperwork on the construction end, and it will be very rewarding to receive that certification plaque at the end of the job! It has been a challenging road, because LEED-NC is not based on our building typology.