Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


February 21, 2013

Town celebrates Bancroft milestone

School to be weather-tight by end of summer


“When the facade is complete, the windows are complete, the roof is on — the building is weather tight, which is when we’re able to really, in earnest, begin the finishes inside the building — your paint, your drywall, your finished flooring, mill work,” Endicott said.

The money approved at least week’s Special Town Meeting will help pay for almost all of that finishing work, according to Endicott.

The topping-off ceremony, celebrated these days on the raising of the project’s last piece of steel, is a standard in the construction industry. It originates from a Scandinavian tradition originally held “as a signal to the gods, if you will,” Endicott said.

Wood structures were the norm back then. today’s topping off ceremonies honor the symbolism of the celebration by raising the final piece of steel with a small tree native to the area — in Bancroft’s case, an evergreen tree, according to Endicott.

The final beam, painted white, was signed by students, town officials and school leaders. The signatures will be visible in the school’s gymnasium “for the life of the building,” Endicott said.

“That will remain in place as a memorial to this event,” he said, “long after the building is completed and they’re using it.”

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