A flag was placed on the crane that lifted the final beam onto the Student Success Center. Photo by Josh Reyes/The Captain's Log

CNU holds ceremonial “topping out” ceremony for Student Success Center

CNU’s Student Success Center is not complete, but the building’s framework is finished and, as part of its topping out ceremony, the last beam has been fastened into place.

Faculty, staff and some lingering students and passersby gathered by the green fence that separates the campus from construction on May 5 at 11:30 a.m. and watched as construction workers placed a single beam on two saw horses and invited the people gathered to sign the beam.

A crane flying an American flag lifted the beam to the roof of the building where a small team of construction workers secured it. After a thumbs up from one of the workers, the crowd cheered and applauded. In the midst of crowd and construction noise, President Paul Trible enthusiastically said, “All right, we’ve topped out.”

A topping out ceremony is a builder’s tradition in which a structure’s final beam is placed atop its building, celebrating the frame’s completion.

The Student Success Center is still in its skeletal stages and requires much more work, but its topping out marks another milestone in the university’s progress.

“It’s exciting to get this building built,” said Senior Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services Bob Midgette, who added that it “rounds out the campus.”

In reference to the construction of the Student Success Center in relation to the building progress of the university, Midgette said, “It’s not the last thing, but it’s a big one.”

CNU will begin construction of the new Greek Village and additions to Regatta’s, the Trible Library and James River Hall in 2014 while the Student Success Center is still being built. Its scheduled completion date is May 2015.