Topping Westlake

Above

Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors signed the painted beam, including KYLE WILLIAMS ’13.

By ABBY WILSON '10

Hundreds of members of the Bradley family were part of an ancient tradition as the University prepared for a topping out ceremony for Westlake Hall. The last steel beam of the expansion project was painted white and set out behind the Library for people to sign. The beam was hoisted into place on May 2, as a Bradley flag was unfurled from it.

“It gave students a chance to personalize one of the buildings on campus,” said JAMIE TATE ’12, a health science major.

Although stemming originally from ancient European tradition, topping out ceremonies in the United States became part of American culture in barn raisings and house warmings. Today, it is a celebration of reaching a milestone in a construction project.

President Joanne Glasser commended project manager CODY GERDES ’06 and other members of the construction team for the work they have done on the Westlake renovation. The project is slated for completion in spring 2012.

“We look forward with great anticipation to the completion of the new Westlake,” said Glasser. “It will be an academic jewel and, for us, the most significant connection of Bradley’s past to Bradley’s future.”

Westlake is designed to have the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. The recognition signifies the environmental friendliness of the construction process and the building.

“I am very pleased that President Glasser had the vision to renovate this building to meet LEED Gold standards,” said Dr. Joan Sattler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences (EHS). “This emphasis on energy conservation and sustainability should serve Westlake Hall for another 100 years.”

Erected in 1897, Westlake Hall is Bradley’s second-oldest structure. The expansion will transform the 14,000-square-foot building into an 85,600-square-foot, state-of-the-art learning facility for EHS students. In addition to classrooms, offices, work areas, and science labs, the building will house the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service; the Center for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); and the Center for Collaborative Brain Research.

The signed beam is hoisted into place, marking the completion of the steel frame of Westlake Hall.

The signed beam is hoisted into place, marking the completion of the steel frame of Westlake Hall.

President Glasser gives the signal for workers to attach the beam to the crane.

President Glasser gives the signal for workers to attach the beam to the crane.

Dr. Joan Sattler addresses the crowd at the Westlake topping out ceremony.

Dr. Joan Sattler addresses the crowd at the Westlake topping out ceremony.

The structural steel frame installation is complete on the addition, making Westlake’s new shape evident.

The structural steel frame installation is complete on the addition, making Westlake’s new shape evident.