The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial achieved its dedication on Thursday, Sept. 19, in Washington D.C. and Albia Community High School graduate, Devon Gottschalk, was part of the design team. The memorial is the first presidential memorial of the 21st century. This national memorial was designed by world renowned architect, Frank Gehry, and his team, and built by Clark Construction Group, LLC. Gottschalk was part of the Clark team that built the memorial.
Gottschalk has worked for Clark Construction Group, LLC for five years, and was a Project Engineer while constructing this memorial project. “During construction of the memorial, I managed the site’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) trades,” he said.
Gottschalk is a 2009 graduate of ACHS, a Della Vedova Scholar and a 2015 graduate of the Iowa State University Design College. He is the son of Randy and Janet Gottschalk of rural Lovilia. Gottschalk was a runner on Coach Todd Ratliff’s South Central Conference championship cross country teams. He was also an Eagle Scout with Albia Troop 76.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial is a four-acre park in Washington D.C. dedicated to honoring the legacy of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The site features larger than life bronze statues depicting Eisenhower as a young man, as army general, and as president of the United States. Eisenhower led the Allied effort in WWII to defeat Nazi Germany that included the D-Day landing.
The backdrop of the memorial features a massive stainless steel woven tapestry supported by six mega columns depicting Frank Gehry’s sketch of the Pointe du Hoc cliff on the Normandy coast.
Viewing of the Eisenhower Memorial is best at night with the lighting systems that I coordinated with our Electrical subcontractor.
“We used BIM modeling software to create a model of the site to coordinate all the MEP equipment,” said Gottschalk. “This allowed me and the MEP subcontractors to identify potential clashes with the site’s architectural elements, and work out installation sequencing concerns. I attribute the foundation of my virtual design skills to the many drafting courses I took while attending Albia High School.”
He added, “The most rewarding part for me was to see the tapestry lit up for the first time. It took two years of coordination between the architect, subcontractors, and the Clark team to get to that moment, and it was so amazing to see what all our efforts accomplished.
“Just like ‘Ike’, I attribute the foundation of this and my future accomplishments to my family and the people from my hometown,” said Gottschalk.