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.
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.