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Ceremony for construction project milestone

TRI-CITIES – Washington State University Tri-Cities will hold a Topping Off Ceremony for the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30.

The ceremony will take place on the WSU Tri-Cities campus at the northern boundary of the construction project-just south of the Consolidated Information Center, 2770 University Drive, Richland.

A topping off ceremony is a part of the Tri-Cities’ local tradition for major construction projects. However, this tradition is well over 100 years old within the construction industry. It marks the moment when the highest structural point in the building construction has been attained. To celebrate this event, the last steel beam is signed and hoisted into place.

An evergreen tree or flag is customarily placed on the beam to symbolize that the building project has proceeded well, without injury, and as a good luck symbol for the occupants of the building.

BSEL is a $24-million jointly promoted WSU and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory research and education laboratory. During the ceremony, major partners will recognize the importance of the project and the work of the contractor, subcontractors and crafts persons thus far. In addition, one of the building’s highest structural beams will be lifted and secured into place.

Dave Koppenaal, interim chief research officer at PNNL, and Robert Bates, provost and executive vice president of WSU, will make brief comments along with representatives of Bouten Construction, the Department of Energy and elected officials.

The latest construction progress can be viewed at

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