Alumnus constructs mobile hospitals amidst coronavirus pandemic

MARIETTA, Ga. | May 28, 2020

When Brian Hogue earned his construction management degree from Kennesaw State University in 2015, he expected to be involved in a multitude of projects that bettered the lives of those around him.

However, he admits that the thought he would be on the front lines of a global pandemic constructing much needed mobile hospital units in some of Georgia’s most impacted areas never crossed his mind. Now a superintendent at Atlanta-based Choate Construction, he has spent several weeks in Albany and Macon leading teams of subcontractors as they install temporary hospital units made from refurbished intermodal shipping containers. In Albany, his company was tasked with relieving stress on an area that has seen one of the highest per capita COVID-19 case rates in the country.

“There are a lot of feelings involved,” said Hogue, who is helping complete the project initiated by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission. “It can be stressful because you know the area is pretty hard hit, so you’re doing what you can to stay safe and healthy. But we also feel really great about what we’re doing because we know we have the potential to save lives in the future.”

In his role, Hogue coordinates the subcontractors as they maneuver the pre-manufactured hospital units into place. From there, they are responsible for connecting the utilities, fixtures, power and fire alarms, among other things that allow the units to become fully operational. Though only a temporary set-up, the increased hospital capacity will reduce strain on area emergency rooms currently fighting COVID-19.

Brian Hogue

While it is not the typical construction project Hogue has become accustomed to working on, he finds himself leaning on the skills he acquired in Kennesaw State’s Department of Construction Management on a daily basis. He credits his courses in contract management, scheduling and blueprint reading, as well as his ability to earn Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification, as vital to his success as a professional.

“These are all things I’m using every day,” said Hogue, who enrolled in the program at the behest of his neighbors, many of whom were alumni. “The construction management had incredible professors and great staff members who were incredibly involved in everything the students did, and Dr. Siddiqi has done a tremendous job leading the department.”

Brian Hogue

Khalid Siddiqi, chair of the Department of Construction Management, said Hogue serves as an example of what all construction management graduates can hope to achieve upon graduation.

“Brian perfectly demonstrates the tremendous value construction managers hold in our society, and we are incredibly proud to see him apply his skills at such a critical time in our state,” he said. “We never know when or where we might be called into action, but we are confident that alumni like Brian are prepared to rise to the occasion.”

– Travis Highfield

Photos submitted

Video by David Johnson

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit