Community, construction crews convene on Ham Smith for special ceremony

Thursday, March 31, 2016
COLA Dean Ken Fuld at Ham Smith topping off ceremony, UNH

COLA Dean Ken Fuld (left) and others at the topping off ceremony to celebrate the placement of the highest beam in the Hamilton Smith Hall renovation project.

On Thursday, March 31, university community members and Skanska construction officials and crews gathered for a “topping off” ceremony at Hamilton Smith Hall, which is undergoing renovation and expansion

At the base of the lilac hill, those in attendance signed the new building’s highest beam and then watched as crews hoisted it into place.

Hamilton Smith Hall "topping off"
Workers place the highest beam at the top of the new Hamilton Smith Hall at UNH.

The new addition to Ham Smith is taking shape quickly. Due to the warm winter, crews have been able to construct foundations throughout the season, and structural steel has been going up since mid-February, according to UNH project manager Richard Rouleau. 

Wondering about that tree?

It’s part of a topping off (sometimes called “topping out”) tradition that has been celebrated since ancient times. The tree marks the construction project’s apogee and serves as an auspicious symbol for both the successful completion of the project and the well-being of the structure’s eventual inhabitants.

Photographer: 
Jeremy Gasowski | Communications and Public Affairs | jeremy.gasowski@unh.edu | 603-862-4465