December 09, 2009
The University of New England celebrated a new era for the University today with the topping-off of its first new residence hall across Route 9 in Biddeford, with a special beam created for the occasion.
UNE's campus expansion under way across Route 9 supports the university's thriving student enrollment and will support the social and academic benefits of on-campus living for undergraduates.
A topping-off beam is a tradition that marks having successfully reached the highest point in a structure. At the annual holiday luncheon held on UNE's Biddeford Campus December 18, over 150 members of the UNE community signed the topping-off beam, painted white for distinction.
Workers from Allied Cook Construction, which is building the residence hall, also signed the 19-foot steel beam. Today, it was carefully hoisted into the highest point of an exposed area of the residence hall's attic, where it will remain for future generations.
The UNE expansion across Route 9 was approved by the Biddeford Planning Board in March 2009, and the four-story, 300-bed residence hall is expected to be completed in time for UNE student occupancy in fall 2010. The university also plans to break ground on a new athletics field and an underground gateway to the Hills Beach side of campus in spring 2010.
This $26 million project investment, which is expected to employ 245 area construction workers over a 12-month period, is one of the largest construction projects currently under way in the state.