The University of Nevada, Reno celebrated a significant milestone in the construction of the University Arts Building with the placement of the building's tallest steel beam on May 16.
Q&D Construction Inc., the contractor for the University Arts Building, led the traditional "Topping-Out" Ceremony. "Topping out," sometimes referred to as "topping off" is a term used by ironworkers to indicate the final piece of steel being lifted into place. Tradition dictated that along with the steel beam, a U.S. flag was hung from the beam and a fir tree placed on top of the beam. The tree symbolizes bringing life to the building.
"It was a privilege to participate in signing the beam along with all of the steelworkers whose hard work and skill are making this building a reality," said Tamara Scronce, interim director of the School of the Arts. "The new University Arts Building both celebrates and facilitates the University of Nevada, Reno's thriving arts scene, elevating arts and culture in student life and increasing our local community's access to world-class exhibitions and performances. The new building marks an exciting time in the history of the School of the Arts."
The new University Arts Building will be connected to the Church Fine Arts building through a sky-walk. Earlier in the week, the first piece of the bridge, an eight-ton steel truss, was installed. It will join the legacy of Nightingale Concert Hall, Redfield Proscenium Theatre and Sheppard Contemporary with the new arts spaces under construction. Students, faculty and arts patrons can quickly move between the two buildings once the project is completed during the fall of 2018.
The University Arts Building will enhance the quality of music and art programs with new spaces that will inspire creativity and artistic excellence. A new recital hall, art museum, fabrication lab, multiple rehearsal and practice rooms, and teaching studios will support students and staff in producing their best work. Continued growth in students and the addition and expansion of arts programs has led to the need for the new facility.
The University's School of the Arts embraces its role as a vibrant center for arts and culture in northern Nevada. Its degree programs provide a strong foundation in a range of artistic disciplines, enabling students to contribute as artists, educators and scholars at the local level and beyond. The School, as part of the College of Liberal Arts, also supports and encourages research, innovation, and the artistic endeavors of its faculty. Finally, the school encourages broad campus and community participation in the arts through its numerous performances, lectures, shows, core courses and outreach activities that explore diverse cultures and encourage lifelong learning.