Officials Celebrate “Topping Out” of Bear Hall

University officials hosted a “Topping Out” ceremony Thursday afternoon to celebrate a milestone in the construction of Bear Hall.

The ceremony is a tradition in the construction and engineering fields and takes place when the highest piece of steel is placed on a building’s frame. However, high winds prevented the beam from being raised. More than 50 students, staff, administrators and construction workers took part in the event by signing the beam.

Construction of Bear Hall started in December 2010. The project is on schedule to open the fall of 2012. The 122,200 square-foot facility includes 362 beds, office space, and skyboxes.

Bear Hall will be the home of UCA’s Entrepreneurship, Public Scholarship, Innovation, & Community Engagement (EPIC) Residential College. EPIC will allow students from the College of Business, College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics to build an innovative residential community that will generate an entrepreneurial climate and promote community engagement.

“UCA is once again demonstrating its institutional commitment, not only to the holistic well-being of our students, but also to the well-being of the state of Arkansas,” said Lance Grahn, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Charles Nabholz, chairman of the board of directors for Nabholz Construction Services, expressed his gratitude to the construction workers, administrative staff and UCA.

President Tom Courtway was also on hand to speak about the impact that Bear Hall will have on UCA.

“This will be a great facility that will benefit the entire university,” Courtway said.