Topping off ceremony signals pivotal point in construction of Swenson HallUniversity of Wisconsin-Superior faculty and staff left their mark on Swenson Hall Tuesday.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
University of Wisconsin-Superior faculty and staff left their mark on Swenson Hall Tuesday. Their hopes, thanks and signatures were written in permanent marker on the 30,000 pounds of steel that will span the building’s main entrance.
“For generations of UWS student – may this building be the start of great things,” wrote assistant professor of psychology Shevaun Stocker.
“We’ve come a long way!” Jan Hanson, vice chancellor for administration and finance, wrote on one of the giant roof trusses.
Chancellor Julius Erlenbach added a familiar quote: “Another beautiful day in Superior!”
The two oversize 110-foot-long roof trusses will be lifted into place Wednesday or Thursday, marking a pivotal point in construction of the $32 million academic building.
Although there is still more steel to raise, the trusses will tie together various phases of the building’s infrastructure, said Tom Fennessey, director of facilities management at the college.
The idea for the beam signing, known as a “topping off” ceremony, came from building benefactors Jim and Sue Swenson.
“It’s something the Swensons started at UMD,” Fennessey said.
According to Assistant Chancellor Jill Schoer, this is the first ceremony of its kind at UWS.
The last phase of the steel frame – approximately 600 tons of American-made steel manufactured in La Crosse -- will complete the back section of the building which faces Weeks Avenue, Fennessey said.
“Then the real building process begins,” Schoer said, as construction crews turn the steel skeleton into 144,000 square feet of classes, labs and offices. Swenson Hall is scheduled to be completed in early 2011.