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Clintonville Public School Dist. celebrates construction milestone with evergreen tradition

Local News

CLINTONVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) – The last beam was installed on the new addition to the Clintonville High School’s recreation center. If you look closely, there were a few extra items added to the beam before it was placed on the building.

Courtesy: Local 5 photojournalist

According to a release, the Clintonville Public School District and Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc. chose to hold a topping-off ceremony Wednesday and allowed people to sign the final steel beam.

What is a topping-off ceremony?

Officials at the local school district say their ceremony is reminiscent of an old-fashion barn-raising celebration, which is traditionally held when the last beam is placed on top of a structure during its construction.

Ultimately, workers say it signifies a milestone in the construction process. The project as a whole is scheduled to be completed by fall 2022.

Why is there a tree?

Hoffman project manager Sean Duncanson says the small evergreen tree and the American flag, placed on opposite sides of the beam, are a tradition in the topping-off ceremony.

He explains that the steel trade has dubbed the tree as a sign that construction has reached the sky without a loss of life or injury. He adds it is seen as a positive sign for everyone who will use the building.

Courtesy: Local 5 photojournalist

“This is a wonderful way to acknowledge the work that’s been done to date on the school, and a way to thank workers for what they’ve accomplished,” said Troy Kuhn, Clintonville superintendent. “It’s exciting to see the progress that’s been made since we broke ground in June of this year.”

The release explains how the addition to the high school’s recreation center is part of a $37 million referendum that was approved by voters in Nov. 2020. District officials say this is the first referendum approved by school district voters in 20 years.

Other projects

Further down in the release, it says the referendum projects also include adding a new middle school and agricultural science building to the high school, as well as remodeling existing tech ed and welding spaces and a new independent living classroom expansion.

District officials say those will be followed by renovation of the existing middle school into the district’s new 4K-5 elementary school, which is scheduled to be completed in fall 2023. 

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