West Virginia University officials will mark the near completion of the steel frame for the Wise Library addition with a”topping-out”celebration at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, on the sidewalk between the construction site and Clark Hall.

Officials and others in attendance will sign one of the last steel girders before it is hoisted onto the structure. An American flag, a WVU flag and an evergreen will adorn the beam. WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and Libraries Dean Frances OBrien will make brief remarks.

If it rains, the event will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29.

Construction on the five-story, 124,000-square-foot addition began in August 1999. The first piece of steel was erected last month (Aug. 16). The facility is scheduled to be completed in fall 2001.

The addition is part of a $35 million downtown library complex, which also includes renovations to the existing library and consolidation of library facilities in Colson Hall and the Chemistry Research Building. Plans call for completing the renovations in fall 2002.

Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott of Boston and Hayes Large Architects of Altoona, Pa., are the architects. Turner Construction of Pittsburgh is the construction manager.

The library project is one of four construction projects included in the first phase of WVUs master facilities plan a 10-year campus renewal program totaling more than $250 million. Other projects are a $43 million Life Sciences Building, a $34 million Student Recreation Center and a $22.8 million office complex along Morgantowns waterfront.