Photo: The final steel beam being moved into place at the Belmont Middle and High School project, Friday, May 15.
The white beam was the final of more than 3,800 steel sections created to build the Phase One – the high school section – of the new Belmont Middle and High School project. And on a warm, sunny Friday, May 15, the final piece of the structural system was signed by many of the men and women of Ironworkers Local Union 7 and the general contractor Skanska USA before being hoisted to the fourth floor level of the building.
With so many events and celebrations cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a rare moment where the builders and contractors could stand for a moment and look at their joint accomplishment creating the backbone of the 425,000 sq.-ft. school.
With a small fir tree – a tradition going back nearly 1,000 years – and the Stars and Stripes bolted on the beam, the steel was the center of attention during the “topping off” ceremony marking the major milestone as the symbolic completion of the structural phase of the building.
The beam reached the top and was bolted into place by ironworkers Christian Breen from Woburn and Westfield’s Mikey Fabiani who took the time to shake hands when the the job was completed.
“Many of us are familiar with the topping off tradition. For others, this is the first of many to come in your careers,” said Manny Hoyo, superintendent for Skanska. “One thing is for certain, we’ll all remember the placing of this final steel beam as a testament to this incredible achievement we accomplished in the midst of a period of unprecedented challenges.”