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News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Executive Director
Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement

College of Marin Topping Out Ceremony Marks Milestone in Construction of New Academic Center

Traditional Topping Out Ceremony: Commemoration with beam-signing and placement atop the building frame. Refreshments to be served.

Friday, March 7, 11 a.m.

COM new Academic Center, 835 College Avenue, Kentfield, CA 94904
(Corner of College Avenue and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard)

Kentfield, CA—February 25, 2014—College of Marin’s construction team will be signing and hoisting a final steel beam, an evergreen tree, and American flag atop the 28-foot skeletal structure of the new Academic Center project, a symbolic ceremony for the accomplishments of the workers, the community and the campus.

The traditional Topping Out Ceremony on Friday, March 7, signifies that the highest point of the structure has been achieved.

“It’s a major milestone in the construction process, said Laura McCarty, director of Modernization. “It’s a celebration for the entire team, from the tradespeople to the designers. Everyone can share the accomplishment.”

School trustees, officials, construction workers, the design team and members of the community will be on hand to sign the beam before a crane sets it in place. The evergreen tree signifies that no building shall be higher than the tallest tree.

“We are grateful for the vision of our trustees, the rich involvement of the community and the tremendous effort of our construction team,” said David Wain Coon, College superintendent/president. “The new Academic Center is very beautifully designed and intended to blend in with the landscaping of the area. This building will serve our students and our community well into the future.”

The new Academic Center, located at the corner of College Avenue and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, will be the welcoming front door of the Kentfield Campus. About 43,000 square feet, it will house 17 classrooms, two computer labs, faculty offices and the president’s office.

The design process incorporated input from faculty, staff and the community. The result is a classic, timeless structure that honors both its historic context on the 88-year-old campus and the natural beauty of its surroundings, McCarty said. It is being built to surpass the highest standards of environmental sustainability and is expected to earn a Gold LEED Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“We’re proud to be a part of it,” said J. Scott Thomas, project superintendent with Wright Contracting. “The topping out is just a huge milestone. It’s a celebration with roots in several different cultures.”

The construction, which is expected to cost $23 million, is funded through Measure C, a $249.5 million bond for facilities maintenance, job training and safety, which was approved by voters in 2004.

TLCD Architecture of Santa Rosa and Mark Cavagnero Associates of San Francisco designed the project. Jacobs Project Management Co. is serving as program and construction manager.

“It’s great to see the project get to this point,” said Bill Scott, business manager of the Marin County Building & Construction Trades Council. The Council has been involved in the planning of projects since the original bond measure plans were discussed. “It’s been a great partnership.”

The ceremony also marks the transition to the next construction phase. The project is on schedule for completion in mid-2015.

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New Academic Center under construction