HUB-Robeson Center to host ‘Topping Out’ Ceremony April 29 and 30

The Penn State community will have the chance next week to make its mark on the HUB-Robeson Center. Students, alumni, faculty and staff can stop by the first floor of the HUB from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on April 29 and 30 to sign two 21-foot beams that will be used as part of the ongoing expansion and renovation project for the building.

The beams from this "topping out" ceremony will then be installed in the new meeting room area near Alumni Hall in mid-May. The placement represents the completion of phase one of the steel installation for the multi-year project.

“We’re excited to be able to include the Penn State community in the commemoration of the expansion of the student-centered building,” said Mary G. Edgington, senior director of union and student activities. “Once completed, the expansion will provide much-needed space for student programming needs, student organizations and individual students.”

Steel “topping out” ceremonies originated in Scandinavia as a religious practice involving the placement of a tree on top of buildings to honor the tree-dwelling spirits of Scandinavian ancestors. Current “topping out” practices commemorate the completion of steel erection during construction and often involve the erection of beams that have been signed by the project team, building occupants and the public, marking a piece of history in the building.

Staff will be available to answer questions about the project and cake and cookies will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the days the beams are on display. Steel erection for the entire HUB-Robeson Center expansion and renovation project is slated for completion in June 2014. Project construction began in May 2013 and will be completed in May 2015.

The proposed addition to and renovation of the building includes new seating and lounge space, additional meeting and multi-purpose rooms, a new THON merchandise store and a renovated Penn State Bookstore and Food Court. Retail venues including the id+ Office, PNC Bank, Penn State Federal Credit Union and Copy Central will be relocated. Updates can be found on the Union and Student Activities website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

Last Updated April 22, 2014