Construction of the Northshore Concert Hall at Inglemoor High School marked a major milestone on Jan. 28, when the final steel beam was placed. This celebration, known as a topping out ceremony, recognizes the safe completion of the steel structure. A small group of District leaders, along with the contractor and ironworkers were in attendance.
Northshore’s Chief Operating Officer, Joe Paperman, Ph.D., opened the ceremony with remarks about his first meeting with Superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. when he joined the District more than two years ago, which was about her vision for the concert hall. In his remarks, Dr. Paperman noted not only the importance of a vision, but also the vision becoming a reality, which was possible thanks to the work of hundreds of tradesmen and women.
Dr. Paperman went on to share, “I really hope that students will be inspired by the music they hear, but I think I’d like to see some of those students be inspired by the building they are in.” He said he would like students to be inspired to become an ironworker themselves and create something that will benefit others for generations to come.
Northshore School Board President, Bob Swain added, “To see a vision that was brought about by community discussion and thought, to see it actually coming to fruition, it’s very exciting.”
Each speaker acknowledged the numerous contributors to this project and thanked them for their hard work and commitment. They include: Evergreen Erectors, Cornerstone General Contractors, Hutteball + Oremus Architecture, Coughlin Porter Lundeen (CPL) Engineers, Continental Dirt, Milne Electric, Northshore’s Capital Projects team, teachers and staff who helped turn the vision into words for the design team, and the Northshore voters who approved the 2018 bond, which made this project possible.
In recognition of the day’s milestone, Director of Capital Projects, Dri Ralph said, “We’re so thankful for the work that they’ve (Cornerstone General Contractors and Evergreen Erectors) done, the safety that they’ve shown on site and the really great building that we’ll have in the community for years to come.”
Cornerstone General Contractors Vice President, Sam Comer explained the significance of raising the last beam, which was adorned with an American flag and an evergreen tree.
“That evergreen tree not only represents the safe completion of the steel structure, but also is a symbol for continued good fortune and luck for the remainder of construction and to the eventual habitants of the building -- the students of Inglemoor High School and the entire Northshore community,” he said.
Dr. Reid closed the ceremony with remarks. “It’s so important to remember that the arts provide a safe place for students to develop their ideas and their dreams -- dreams that can carry us into a brighter, lighter future,” she said. “The building behind me is going to be a beacon of light, not just for our community, but our country at large. I can’t wait to see it filled with students and to hear the amazing performances that are yet to come.”
In the days leading up to the ceremony, current and some former Northshore music educators were invited to sign the beam for posterity. While we wish we could have had students, staff and community members attend the ceremony in person, due to safety restrictions it was filmed to share with the Northshore community.
The Northshore Concert Hall, which was funded by the generous support of Northshore voters in 2018, will accommodate 750 seats and add classroom and instructional space to Inglemoor High School. Additionally, the project includes traffic circulation improvements, as well as rebuilding and relocating the school’s six tennis courts. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2021. Follow the project’s progress, along with other projects across the District by visiting nsd.org/buildingforthefuture.