Celebrating a Milestone of the Main Library Renovation

By Jeff Hill | May 13, 2022

University and Library personnel and construction workers and contractors gathered yesterday for a "topping-out ceremony" for the library renovation. The topping-out is when the last beam is placed atop a structure, and is a traditional milestone in a major construction project.

Guy Mengel, retired Library Director of Facilities and Security, returned to Grounds to sign the beam. (photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

The beam was signed by Library staff, UVA facilities personnel, construction workers, and others involved in the project. Chris Rhodes, Skanska senior project manager; John Unsworth, the University librarian and dean of libraries at UVA; and Mark Stanis, director of construction for UVA, delivered remarks thanking the tradespeople involved. The remarks were translated into Spanish for the benefit of all by carpenter Alex Alverez.

The topping-out ceremony symbolically marks the transition in construction away from the exterior of the building and into a new phase as the structure is "closed up" and the interior work begins. The renovation/construction project, slated to be finished in the fall of 2023, will completely refurbish the historic envelope of the building and add new collections, research, and study space.

Read more and view photos of the topping-out ceremony from UVA Today.