College and Construction Crews Celebrate Topping Out Milestone
As the National Anthem played, construction workers hoisted a flag atop the new Georgia State University College of Law building Wednesday during a lunch “topping out” ceremony.
The ceremony, sponsored by McCarthy Building Cos., celebrates the construction milestone of placing the last structural beam on the new $82.5 million facility, the first building dedicated to legal education at the university.
“It’s an unbelievable transformation of what the College of Law is about,” said Roy M. Sobelson, associate dean for academic affairs, during the brief ceremony for construction workers, architects, dignitaries and college officials. “To see this building rise up out of the ground on this lot is breathtaking.”
“This building shows the importance of Georgia State in the legal community,” said David Roberts (J.D. ’97), standing in building’s central community space. “So many of our alumni have distinguished themselves professionally, and now the college is about to move into a structure that will match those successes.
After breaking ground in September, McCarthy construction crews and subcontractors began pouring concrete during the winter, going floor by floor until it reached the seventh and final level. The Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission manages the project.
The crews have invested more than 100,000 man-hours into constructing the concrete and steel framework for the building. During that time, there have been no accidents reported, said Justis Borgan, McCarthy project manager.
“This is a building in which many students will first encounter what has been appropriately referred to as ‘the majesty of the law,’” Roberts said. “It’s ideal for that experience to take place in a professional and intellectually engaging architectural environment. That will now be possible; it’s a remarkable thing.”
A licensed architect, Roberts advised the school’s faculty design committee in the early phases of the design process on matters of architecture.
“The college’s leadership and the faculty members on the design committee have applied both enthusiasm and effort to bring this project to life,” Roberts said. “It was a pleasure to see how quickly these lawyers became skilled clients, adept in the tasks of reading drawings and understanding architectural principles. Their obvious hard work is reflected in a significant way in the building taking form around us here.”
Slated to open in May 2015, the building will feature a world-class conference center, state-of-the-art clinical practice and community outreach space, a 230-seat ceremonial courtroom, the International Arbitration Center and a multi-story library with flexible learning space, reading room, café and outdoor terraces. It
“We are honored to work on such a momentous project for Georgia State, and one that will play a key role in the evolution of the City of Atlanta,” said Kevin Kuntz, McCarthy’s Southeast division president. “We can’t wait to deliver this facility so Georgia State Law can continue training the next great legal minds in a modern, sustainable law school.”
The next phase of the project shifts from concrete and steel rebar to completing the exterior with glass, stone and zinc siding and finishing the interior of the building. About 70,000 square feet of glass, 24,000 square feet of stone cladding and 2,444 zinc panels will enclose the exterior of the building.