Grayson Knowlton had a summer to remember.
Knowlton, a sophomore wide receiver for the UW-Platteville football team and native of Chippewa Falls, Wis., spent the summer in Las Vegas interning with Mortenson Construction, helping to finish the construction of the $1.97 billion Allegiant Stadium, new home of the Las Vegas Raiders.
“This opportunity has been unlike anything I would have imagined myself doing as an internship in college,” Knowlton told letsgopioneers.com. “Having the ability and opportunity to be at an NFL stadium every day for a summer has been an awesome experience. As a football player and a fan of the sport, this is something a lot of people would jump at. Knowing that I had a hand in completing the spectacle that Allegiant Stadium is will be something I will never forget.”
Construction of the stadium began on Nov. 13, 2017, and its certificate of occupancy was issued on July 31. Knowlton, a construction management major at UW-Platteville, arrived in late May to help complete the massive project.
“The way these stadium projects are constructed, it’s sort of completed in phases with certain areas or aspects being focused on at a specific time,” Knowlton said. “I got to track the progress of our mechanical, electrical and plumbing trade partners using the BIM360. With completion near, a lot of the focus over the summer was final testing and repairs of the MEP equipment and systems in order to get final sign off from county and state inspectors.”
Mortenson Construction is based out of Minneapolis and has been involved in major renovations and construction of Fiserv Forum (home of the Milwaukee Bucks), U.S Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings), American Family Fields of Phoenix (Milwaukee Brewers spring training facility) and the Pegula Ice Arena (Penn State hockey).
Knowlton did not register a reception last season for the Pioneers on the field, but he has picked up many traits through the years as a football player that came in handy in helping build a new home for the Raiders.
“Things that I learned from football that has helped in the work environment is my confidence, the ability to overcome adversity and the ability to work effectively within a team,” he said.
Local athletes honored by A-R-C — All four athletes receiving honors from the American Rivers Conference on Monday have area ties.
Loras College’s Kassie Rosenbum and Wartburg’s Joe Freiburger were tabbed the leagues’s athletes of the week, as well as the cross country performers of the week. Loras’ Audrey Hinz (women’s tennis) and University of Dubuque’s Daniela Miranda (women’s golf) also earned player of the week honors.
Rosenbum, a junior from Guttenberg, Iowa, who graduated from Clayton Ridge, was the women’s cross country runner of the week after setting a new Loras school record in the 5,000-meter race on Saturday with a time of 17:56 to finish first at the Central College triangular. Rosenbum also set a new record on Central’s course, breaking the previous mark of 18:10. Rosenbum earned her fifth career runner of the week accolade.
Freiburger, a senior at Wartburg and former Western Dubuque standout from Holy Cross, Iowa, finished first out of 75 runners in 18:49 at the Wartburg triangular, setting a new record on the Knights’ home course in Waverly on Saturday. The defending A-R-C champion earned his fifth career runner of the week award.
Hinz, a former standout at Dubuque Wahlert, earned her second career player of the week honor for the Duhawks tennis program. The senior from Dubuque picked up a pair of victories at No. 1 singles and doubles to help the Duhawks start the season with an 8-1 victory over Coe College on Saturday.
Miranda, a senior at UD from Woodstock, Ill., earned medalist honors on Sunday with a 76-76—152 to power the Spartans to the team title over six other league teams at the Wartburg Fall Invite. Miranda topped 46 other golfers and helped UD win the team title by 23 strokes, marking back-to-back weekends that the defending A-R-C champs won a team crown. The honor is Miranda’s third in her career.