The renovation and expansion of a mathematics and science hall on the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County reached a milestone Thursday morning with a "Topping Off" ceremony on the former site of a 50-year-old library.
The event on the campus at 800 South Rolling Road celebrated the final beam placed atop the steel frame of the building.
In keeping with tradition, an evergreen tree was placed on top of the steel frame, to signify completion of the frame.
The hall was designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices, according to information provided by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Some of the features of the building, as outlined by CCB,C include a partial vegetated roof, a cool roof, a porous sidewalk, bioretention areas and energy recovery air devices.
"You will be teaching in the most state-of-the-art building imagineable," said Sandra Kurtinitis, president of CCBC, to the crowd.
The new building will have approximately 90,000 square feet combined between the existing building and an addition.
Construction is scheduled to be complete by July 2015, said Hope Davis, spokeswoman for the Community College of Baltimore County.
The first phase of the building included asbestos abatement, demolition of the existing facility and construction of additional parking to replace another lot on campus that was lost due to the new addition, according to CCBC information.
The second phase, currently in progress, includes the renovation of the existing facility and construction of the addition.
After the commissioning of mechanical and electrical systems, office and classroom furniture will be installed. The building will be operational for fall 2015 classes.
"This is yet one more example of how CCBC has been trying to encourage students to enter the fields of science and mathematics," First District Councilman Tom Quirk said.
"I think it's so important to focus on high paying jobs like those in math and science. Clearly those jobs are well-paying and we need to encourage our students to move into those fields," Quirk said.
Catonsville resident Wayne McDowell, a member of the board of trustees at CCBC, was among those at the ceremony.
"It's really amazing what is happening on this campus," said McDowell, an alumnus of the school.
Kurtinitis said this is just one of many projects going on the three main CCBC campuses, which include locations in Essex and Dundalk.
"From 1997 to 2006, the college had almost no capital growth because it was going through a conversion from three colleges into one," Kurtinitis said after the ceremony. "Since 2006 to this day, the county and the state has committed capital improvement to the tune of $250 million for CCBC.
"I am happy to say the mathematics and science building is a big win, " she said."We are investing our capital where it needs to be invested."