By Reginald Rogers/ParaglideDecember 14, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Construction workers at Fort Bragg's newest building placed the final structural beam in place Dec. 3, marking the completion of framework for the building that will house the U.S. Army Forces Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Command.
Several Fort Bragg and Army Corps of Engineer officials, along with officials from lead contractor Hansel Phelps and several subcontractors attended the ceremony, which was also attended by members of the local media. In the ceremony, a white steel beam was lifted to the northwest corner of the building and
riveted in place. The audience cheered on the workers as this marked the conclusion of structural construction on the building. Also, in keeping with the holiday season, a Christmas tree was placed on top of the beam.
Workers were treated to an awards ceremony and a barbecue lunch, to mark the significance of the "topping off" building phase on the $292 million structure.
"Today we put the last piece of structural steel in place almost a year to the date of the ground breaking," said Daniel Davis, USACE resident engineer. "I have several people who were here last year for the ground breaking and if I had asked them last year if they believe we'd be where we are today, they would've said no."
Davis said the building process is right on schedule and should be completed in what he calls "565 days to success."
He pointed out there have been challenges in getting to this point, but the build teams have overcome them and continue with their proposed time line.
Davis said that despite whatever issues they've had to face, each member of the team has pulled together to overcome them and their efforts have contributed to them reaching the Dec. 3 milestone.
He added that the construction team is about 80 days from turning over the auxiliary buildings that are part of the contract. Davis said the next phase in the build process will include the emplacement of the pre-fabricated brick panels, which will cosmetically enhance the structure.
He said watching the placement of the final beam made him feel proud of what the construction team had accomplished.
"It was a sense of pride that we've gotten this far in a year," Davis said. "We're going to finish this building on time like we promised our customer and it's going to be a significant architectural asset to Fort Bragg. It's just a good feeling knowing you're part of something that's vital to the installation, the country and the troops who are fighting for our freedom."