PLNU faculty, staff and students marked the completion of the highest structure of the new science building Wednesday with the “topping off celebration.”
“The opportunity to walk through the new science buildings and see the details of construction and the progress was very encouraging,” President Bob Brower said. “I can hardly wait for the completion date this summer and for classes and labs to be held there next semester. It’s a great dream coming true!”
Rick Guinn, Rudolph and Sletten executive for the project, explained that a “topping out celebration,” is the last concrete pour that closes up the structural shell of the building.
“It’s a big milestone in any project that we do and we always like to celebrate that event…You’ll see our tree there [on top of the building],” Guinn said. “The tree represents future growth and prosperity. That is something that I personally want to happen here at this university.”
ASB President mcKensey Wise spoke on behalf of the student body and said this building will take the gifts of the student body, prepare them and utilize them for serving others.
“What’s so cool about the science building is what they learn…is not how they have to choose faith or science, but they learn how faith and science work together and that really does set them up for a lifetime of ministry, and so that’s why we’re so excited about this building,” Wise said.
Ray Barella, the architect at Carrier Johnson, said designing 160 panels of Alpha and Omega symbols that wrap around the building resonated with him in its greater purpose.
“It’s a way of bringing the sciences and faith together,” he said. “It raises the building from merely being a facility to being a great piece of architecture and art.”
David Strawn, a professor emeritus of PLNU, taught mathematics and computer science in the mid-80s and later became the Dean of Arts and Sciences. He said that in the late 90s, PLNU attempted to create a science building plan, but it didn’t work, so this is exciting for him now.
“It’s the biggest campaign this school has ever had,” Strawn said. “It’s fun to see it go up; it’s fun to see it happen.”