Installation of final beam, time capsule highlight UMaine Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center ceremony

The University of Maine will celebrate the placement of the last beam atop the structural steel frame of the new Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center during a virtual Topping Off Ceremony. 

The livestreamed ceremony, a tradition in building construction, is tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, pending weather conditions and the construction schedule. Confirmation of the event date will be available on the University of Maine Foundation website.

Earlier this month, Consigli Construction made the painted beam available on campus for members of the UMaine community to sign in person, following all health and safety protocols. In addition, a virtual beam signing is online.

A time capsule welded to the beam will include messages, as well as a Crosby Clip. Patented by Dexter, Maine native and UMaine mechanical engineering alumnus Oliver Crosby, Class of 1876, the Crosby Clip is still in use today as an essential tool in steel construction. The Crosby Clip will be used to hoist the beam into place during the Topping Off Ceremony. Oliver Crosby’s company, American Hoist & Derrick, made the world’s first crawler mounted crane, like the one being used to lift the beam.

Construction of UMaine’s 108,000-square-foot engineering facility began in May 2020, with workers following appropriate COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. 

“This is a fantastic milestone for the UMaine community and the state,” says UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy. “When the Ferland Center is dedicated in August 2022, it will provide amazing opportunities for collaborative, cross-discipline learning, and the creation of practical innovations by our students and faculty, such as those patented by alumnus Oliver Crosby. This Engineering Education and Design Center will be key to helping meet Maine’s workforce and economic needs. And we will have a beautiful facility to help attract diverse and innovative students from Maine and beyond.”

Read more.