ROCK ISLAND-- On Monday students and staff at Augustana College celebrated a milestone in the future of science education. Construction crews placed the beam that will be the highest point of the addition, but if you look closely, raised with the beam was an evergreen tree.
It was a ceremonial step, construction crews raised the Augie blue colored beam that marks the highest point of the new 22,000 square foot expansion of the Hanson Hall of Science. The space will be used for additional classrooms, labs, and study space for students.
The beam was painted blue, and hundreds of students and community members signed it to represent unity and truly being a part of change.
Raised with the beam was an evergreen tree. Onlookers might have assumed it was decorations for the holidays, but it's actually a construction tradition dating back to 700 A.D from Scandinavia. The tree is known as the topping tree. It celebrates the completion of the skeleton of a building. The tree is typically attached to the top beam as it's hoisted up in the air, a signal the building has reached its final height.
For some builders, the evergreen symbolizes good luck and prosperity for the future occupants of the building and building process.