Story by Bryan Hay; photos by Clay Wegrzynowicz

Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center (RISC) reached another milestone July 5 as the construction crew placed the final I-beam in the framework on the building’s top floor.

In keeping with tradition for topping out, employees of Turner Construction Co. and its subcontractors signed the beam and attached an American flag before it was hoisted into place. A topping-out ceremony, an ancient ritual among construction trades, signifies that a building project has reached its most auspicious point. Traditionally, in the United States, an American flag and often an evergreen, symbol of good luck and prosperity, are perched atop the building.

Framing of the building’s enclosure will now begin with the completion of the steel. Concrete floor-slab installation and spray-on fireproofing are proceeding and will be followed by wall layout and mechanical/electrical/plumbing rough-in work. 

The $75 million RISC, the largest capital project in Lafayette’s history, is named for S. Kent Rockwell ’66, one of the College’s most generous benefactors.

The 103,000-square-foot, five-story building on Anderson Courtyard will bring together biology, computer science, and environmental science and studies, along with additional space for neuroscience, and will be connected to Acopian Engineering Center. Kunkel Hall, home to the biology department, will be repurposed following the department’s move into the new building, as will the fifth floor of Acopian, current home to the computer science department.

Lafayette’s Bradbury Dyer III ’64 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship also will be based in RISC along with the Daniel and Heidi Hanson ’91 Center for Inclusive STEM Education and unplanned spaces for future academic growth. RISC is scheduled to open for fall semester 2019.

Categorized in: Academic News, Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Featured News, Neuroscience, News and Features
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