MIRA MESA–Somewhere between groundbreaking and ribbon cutting comes a little ceremony in the construction of many modern buildings called “topping off.” It occurs when the highest structural element is swung into place.
Miramar College faculty and staff, San Diego Community College District and community representatives gathered with contractors and construction crewmembers today for a ceremonial “topping off” of the Miramar College Library and Learning Resource Center (LLRC) project. A 25’ long steel beam, one of over 1,700 used for the LLRC, was signed by guests, and adorned with an American flag and palm tree before it’s hoist by a 165-ton crane to its final position.
The “topping off” practice started in Scandinavia over 1,000 years ago, when workers traditionally erected an evergreen tree with the highest structural element as symbol of good faith and good luck.
College President Dr. Patricia Hsieh remarked, “A library symbolizes the college’s very mission – it is a place where scholarly pursuit takes place. At 100,000 square feet, it will be ten times the size of our current library and will be our campus crown jewel.”
The $37.4 million, three-story LLRC will include a new library, state-of-the-art classrooms and computer labs, tutoring services, a media production facility and faculty and staff offices and work spaces. Construction began in December 2009 and is expected to be completed in October 2011.
The building is designed to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and includes many sustainable features.
The Library Learning Resource Center is one of eight projects currently udner construction as part of the $1.55 billion Propositions S & N construction bond program, providing for new instructional and career training facilities, major renovations, parking, public safety enhancements and infrastructure projects throughout the San Diego Community College District. The Miramar LLRC is flanked by the future Arts & Humanities and Business & Math classroom buildings, also funded by Propositions S and N.
Project partners include Zagrodnik + Thomas Architects, Sundt Construction, M.A. Engineering, Inc., Michael Wall Engineering, Burkett and Wong, Wimmer Yamada and Caughey, and Gafcon, Inc –Propositions S and N Program Manager.