How Oklahoma is using block to keep kids safe

The National Concrete Masonry Association's Weekly eNewsletter

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National Concrete Masonry Association

How Oklahoma is using block to keep kids safe

Kindergarten students at Little Axe Elementary hopped around a rug in the middle of their classroom, landing on the letter that corresponded to the one displayed on the room's SMART Board. Light from the midday sun beamed through the room's two windows, but if the skies grew dark and the tornado siren began to blare, the students in this class would stay put while the rest of the school's nearly 650 students would join them. That's because the school's four kindergarten and pre-K classrooms are encased in 16-inch concrete block walls, an 8-inch concrete roof and a 6-inch concrete floor. To read more, click here.

Seattle to host NCMA 2019 Midyear Meeting

NCMA members will gather in Seattle, Washington, August 6-9, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Seattle. The Midyear Meeting provides an opportunity for members to participate in committee meetings that develop the association’s agenda for the coming years. Seattle is an international city surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and contains thousands of acres of parkland. The futuristic Space Needle, a 1962 World’s Fair legacy, is its most iconic landmark. For more information on the Emerald City, click here.

Construction stakeholders renew push for infrastructure bill

Groups representing the construction and business sectors are ramping up their calls for congressional action on an infrastructure measure this year. The Transportation Construction Coalition and Americans for Transportation Mobility joined forces to urge federal lawmakers to pass legislation that would ensure long-term funding for big-ticket projects. Included in the legislation should be a sustainable source of funding for the Highway Trust Fund, which relies on dwindling revenue from the 24.4 cents-per-gallon diesel tax and 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax. To read more, click here.

Registration open for 13th North American Masonry Conference

The 13th North American Masonry Conference brings together researchers, designers, practitioners, educators, and more to network and share the latest advances in masonry knowledge and practice. Registration is now open for the conference held June 16-19 in Salt Lake City, UT. Don’t miss your chance to attend this engaging event. The Masonry Society Spring meeting will immediately precede the Conference. Find out more information here.

Fred Yahr, NCMA Hall of Fame member, has passed away

It's with heavy hearts we announce the passing of NCMA Hall of Fame member and former Chair, Fred Yahr, who died on March 17 at his home in Wisconsin. He was 94. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, he was the face of West Bend Concrete Products, which was started by his father, Leonard, across the street from his childhood home. For arrangements and other details, please click here.

Besser announces new president, Ryan Suszek

NCMA member Besser Company announced this week that it will have a new president. At the beginning of April Ryan Suszek will officially be the sixth president of the 115-year old company headquartered in Alpena, Michigan. He was formerly the Vice President of Pipe and Precast. Kevin Curtis will remain CEO. For more, click here.

Columbia's Richard Armstrong retires, Kevin Brown announced

After 18 years at NCMA member Columbia Machine, Richard Armstrong is retiring from his post as the Washington State-based company's Concrete Products Division President. Kevin Brown (pictured left) has officially been promoted to fill the role. For more, click here.

Deadline for Foundation grant submission is May 1

The deadline for submission of new grant applications to the NCMA Foundation is May 1, 2019. Applications submitted by this time will be considered at NCMA’s Midyear Meeting August 6-9, 2019. Find out more information about the grant submission process here.

Where they're going ...

NCMA President Bob Thomas will be at the bauma Pre-Tour in Ireland from April 1 to April 7. NCMA's Vice President of Engineering Jason Thompson will be at a Canada Masonry Design Centre meeting from April 1 to April 4. NCMA's Vice President of Business Development Nicholas Lang will be at the Upstate Masonry Institute in Syracuse, New York on April 2.

How do I determine the necessary amount of concrete masonry protection for steel columns for fire protection purposes?

It depends on the type and size of column, and the fire rating required. See NCMA TEK 7-6CA for details on that calculation.


NCMA offers free design courses on AEC Daily

There are two, and they're both FREE. The first is called "Concrete Masonry: The Energy Efficient Solution", and it's available here. The second and latest is "The Next Generation of Concrete Masonry", and it's available here.

Deadline to submit to the 2018 NCMA/ICPI Safety Awards is March 31

The online form for submitting to the 2018 NCMA/ICPI Safety Awards is now open. This program recognizes safety-conscious association members and it's free to submit and participate. Also, upon being announced, winners will have the choice to purchase plaques to commemorate their achievements.


Click here for more information on the program. Click here to go directly to the entry form. Online submission closes March 31, 2019.

Register today for the YPG Spring Workshop in Grand Rapids

Join other members of NCMA's Young Professionals Group at the spring workshop in Michigan’s River City, April 24-25, with speaker Paul Doyle and other guests. Network, talk shop and expand your knowledge of the industry then enjoy dinner at the Knickerbocker New Holland Brewery. Accommodations are available at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. For more details or to register, click here.