The campus community gathered Wednesday to celebrate the placement of the final steel beam for the new Integrated Science and Engineering Complex.
High winds delayed the actual “topping off” that was planned Wednesday. This traditional building custom – which features a fir tree and an American flag perched on the final beam – is meant to symbolize growth and good luck. In keeping with tradition, members of the Union community were invited to sign the
beam beforehand. Workers were able to place the final beam Friday after winds died down.
Still, dozens braved frigid temperatures on Wednesday to marvel at the work that has been completed so far.
Trustee Frank L. Messa ’73 noted the number of buildings the College has built or renovated over the past dozen years. This includes the Taylor Music Center, Lippman Hall, Lamont House, Karp Hall, Peter Irving Wold Center, Henle Dance Pavilion, Wicker Wellness Center, Kelly Adirondack Center, Breazzano Fitness Center and the recently completed Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts.
“But I would argue that strategically for the future of this institution, none is more important than this one,” Messa said.
The $100 million project, the most ambitious and largest in the school’s history, will be completed in phases over the next two years. This includes an addition completed for fall term 2018 and renovation of three sections of the existing S&E center by fall 2019.
Michael Stalteri ’19, a neuroscience major and vice president of his class, shared his appreciation for the academic opportunities he’s been afforded at Union and what awaits.
“Once this complex is complete, I am confident that this major development for our campus will fulfill the hopes and dreams of future Union students,” said Stalteri, of Herkimer, N.Y.
President Stephen C. Ainlay thanked those associated with the project, from the architects to the builders to the fundraisers in College Relations. He also credited Therese McCarty, dean emeritus of the faculty, for encouraging the College to build a new complex.
“Ultimately, it’s the students who are the inspiration for this project,” Ainlay said. “Thank you for being so inspiring and thank you for motivating us to be the best and committing us to excellence.”
Other speakers included Strom Thacker, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Carl Stewart III, vice president and general manager of Turner New York North, chief contractor for the project.
Click here to learn more about the project.