Ironworkers celebrate Little Building’s final beam

About+a+hundred+construction+workers+and+college+officials+gathered+on+the+first+floor+of+Little+Building+to+celebrate+the+placement+of+the+buildings+last+iron+beam.+Cullen+Granzen+%2F+Beacon+Staff

About a hundred construction workers and college officials gathered on the first floor of Little Building to celebrate the placement of the building’s last iron beam. Cullen Granzen / Beacon Staff

By Parker Purifoy, Emerson '21

The college hosted a topping off ceremony to celebrate the placement of the Little Building’s final iron beam on Friday, Sept. 28.

About a hundred construction workers and college officials gathered on the first floor of Little Building.  The workers and attendees signed their names on the last beam and painted it white. 

A topping off ceremony represents a symbolic event dating back to the 1920s where ironworkers bolt on the last or highest beam of a building, according to CSL Consulting Clerk of the Works Raymond DiTucci. On the beam, the workers erected a small pine tree as a symbol of good luck.

“We all feel a part of it,” ironworker Kris Larochelle said at the ceremony. “Everyone is working together and it takes a team to get this done.”  

President M. Lee Pelton thanked everyone who helped move the project along in his speech.

“I often joke that my dream is to wake up and the scaffolding that has been surrounding this building for the past ten years, is no longer there,” he said. “And all of you are helping to make that happen.”

The target deadline for the Little Building is August 2019. Once completed, the building will add space for another 1,000 students to live on campus.

Christopher Van Buskirk contributed reporting to this article.