On Monday, December 17, the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall topped off the steel structure of the building. The ceremonial beam was signed by workers and MSOE board members, faculty, and students before being lifted into place.
Several speakers kicked off the celebration, including MSOE’s President Dr. John Walz, Dr. Dwight Diercks, the project’s $34 million donor, and Mortenson’s project superintendent Alice Westphal.
The American flag and evergreen tree tradition on the beam dates back centuries. The tree is lifted out of respect to the trees being replaced by the new building. It serves as a key symbol for the steel structure safely reaching completion and also represents good luck and prosperity for the building’s future occupants. The addition of the flag to the topping out steel beam is a uniquely American tradition that can be traced back 100+ years to proud and patriotic American ironworkers.
The steel structure of the building contains 1,200 main structural steel pieces and over 1,100 miscellaneous pieces that weigh over 500 tons.
The team is focused on working together towards a strong, safe finish for students to begin classes in the building beginning in September 2019.
The project team who helped achieve this milestone includes architectural design partner Uihlein Wilson Ramlow Stein, structural engineer Graef Engineering, and McFarlane Manufacturing and J.P. Cullen, the companies who fabricated and erected the steel.