A steel beam, painted white, sat in the cafeteria at Newton Middle School for several days. It had a pine tree mounted on one side and an American flag mounted on the other. Students and staff signed the beam with sanitized markers during their lunch periods. By the end of the week, it was covered in names and ready to take a ride across campus in the bed of a red GH Phipps pickup truck to the site of the new Newton Middle School. The “topping out” ceremony took place on Friday, October 23, 2020.
A “topping out” ceremony is a tradition in the construction industry with ties to celebrations of completed construction projects held throughout human history. The ceremony is symbolic; the pine tree represents a new beginning, and the American flag represents patriotism and the American dream.
The signed steel beam was raised to the highest point of the new school and put in place, thus completing the framing of the new Newton Middle School. The beam will be visible in the school’s elevator shaft.
It was a truly exciting event, one more step on the path towards completion of the state-of-the-art Newton Middle School.