Last Steel Beam Tops Baker Library

Students, administrators, and members of the Baker Library construction team gathered last Thursday for the Baker Library/Academic Center (BL/AC)Topping Off Ceremony. A cherished tradition in building projects, the Topping Off Ceremony celebrates the completion of a building’s steel skeleton. The ceremony occurs before the uppermost steel member is put into place, marking that the structure has reached its highest point.

According to tradition, an evergreen tree and a flag are attached to the beam during its ascent. The evergreen represents new life for the building and continued safety on the project, while the flag suggests patriotism and the American dream. At the BL/AC ceremony, attendees were also invited to sign the last steel beam before it was hoisted into place.

In his remarks, Dean Clark said that he felt “a feeling of awe at what these guys have accomplished. It is so hard to do what they do”. Clark also praised their “tremendous skill” in working with the weather and the complexity of the project, and he mentioned that he is looking forward to seeing the project complete next year.