A horn sounded and spectators cheered as a construction crane lifted a steel beam that had been decorated with an American flag, a small evergreen tree, and dozens of signatures into the air.

The beam was then lowered into place atop the new Nursing and Instructional Building on Tuesday morning as part of a topping out ceremony on UNC Greensboro’s campus. The celebration marked another milestone in the construction of the 180,000-square-foot facility that is slated to open in the fall of 2020.

“We are at an exciting point of growth and transformation on our campus – enrollment growth, growth in new academic programs, and growth in research funding,” UNCG Provost Dana Dunn said. “The new state-of-the art Nursing and Instructional Building is a shining example of that growth and a key piece of our Millennial Campus District focused on health and wellness, a pillar of our strategic plan.”

Provost Dana Dunn

The $105 million building will serve as the new home of the School of Nursing, which is currently spread across four buildings on or near campus. It will also house new laboratories and classrooms for the School of Health and Human Sciences and the Departments of Biology and Chemistry.

The Nursing and Instructional Building, located on the former site of the McIver Building, will feature 39 labs, 14 classrooms, nine research suites, and a community engagement center.

UNCG celebrated the official groundbreaking of the Nursing and Instructional Building in April of 2018. The five-story building has taken shape since then, with construction crews using more than 1,500 tons of structural steel and 145 tons of metal decking on the project.

Tuesday’s topping out ceremony symbolized the last beam being put into place and the building safely reaching its highest point. Work on the facility stopped for several minutes as construction crews in hard hats joined UNCG administrators, faculty, and staff members to celebrate the building’s progress.

men in hard hats signing a steel beam

“There are many people who have had an important role in making this celebration possible today, from our legislators, the leaders of UNCG, the Board of Trustees, the students and faculty, and community members of Greensboro, to the architectural, engineering, and design firms,” said Pat Rodgers, president and CEO of Rodgers Builders, Inc. “Thank you all for your support of this work.”

woman speaking at podium at construction site

Pat Rodgers speaking at the Nursing and Instructional Building site.

School of Nursing faculty and staff members have signed their names and left messages on the beam, which weighs approximately 100-120 pounds, since it was delivered in early June.

Dunn added her name to the beam that had been painted white for the occasion before it was raised and permanently secured five stories above nearby Tate Street.

Man and woman signing a steel beam

Dean Robin Remsburg of the UNCG School of Nursing and Chancellor Frank D. Gilliam, Jr. signed the beam several weeks earlier.

 

Story by Alex Abrams, School of Nursing
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications