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Local firms support Messiah College’s bridge construction work in Latin America

July 27th, 2016

BridgeMECHANICSBURG, Pa. (July 27, 2016) — A donation from NTM Engineering, Inc. of Dillsburg, Pa. enabled the construction of a bridge in Latin America through the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research (the Collaboratory for short) at Messiah College.

In the basement of the engineering building at Messiah College, a group of students labored all year to design a bridge for Panama’s community of Bajo Grande. They partnered with Rio Missions as part of the Collaboratory, a non-profit organization at Messiah. With the guidance of academic advisors and professionals, members of the Collaboratory integrate their passions and abilities into development initiatives. Their projects offer sustainable solutions to problems in nearby neighborhoods and around the world.

During Panama’s rainy season, the river that snakes through Bajo Grande quickly becomes a threat to the town. Torrents create dangerous currents that inhibit access to healthcare and education. The bridge design engineered by members of the Collaboratory – their third bridge in Panama – will link the two sides of the river, uniting the region. This summer, project members worked alongside members of the community and Rio Missions staff to construct the bridge in Bajo Grande. “The community’s role gives them a sense of ownership,” says student project manager Benjamin Holderman. “The most rewarding part is seeing kids run across it, laughing.”

The Collaboratory relies on the support of community partners to fund its work. A donation by NTM Engineering, Inc., a firm based in Dillsburg, Pa., supplied the materials and resources necessary for bridge construction. NTM prioritizes community involvement and has invested in many local organizations. The family-oriented environment it fosters garnered it a spot among the top three “Best Places to Work in PA” twice, in 2014 and 2015. The company was drawn to the Panama Bridge Project because of its focus on helping communities through engineering. The support of partners like NTM enables the Collaboratory to continue working towards its mission, bridging gaps between people in Panama and beyond.

Donations were also provided by Century Engineering, CS Davidson, ABCD (Assoc for Bridge Construction and Design) Susquehanna Chapter, COR Construction Services, Inc., David Miller and Associates, Harrisburg Chapter of PA Society of Professional Engineers, Lane Enterprises, and Larson Design Group.

About Messiah College

Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences, enrolls more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Mechanicsburg, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg.

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