Topping Out Ceremony marks milestone for new Wisdom High School

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Workers on the site of the new Wisdom High School paused last Friday to celebrate as the last structural steel beam was placed atop the building, an important milestone in construction of the $74 million project.

Satterfield & Pontikes, Inc., the construction manager at risk for the new facility, organized the “Topping Out” Ceremony to thank subcontractors for their hard work and safety record. The group was treated to a barbecue lunch before they watched a large crane lift and place the final beam.

“Topping out is cause for celebration in any project,” said George Pontikes, President of Satterfield & Pontikes. “We’re installing the final beam, we’ve reached this point safely, and we want to express our appreciation to our subs for their hard work. It’s also a time to reflect on the remainder of the project and to align the team for the work ahead so we deliver a great facility.”

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Workers also placed an evergreen tree on top of the structure, which is a builders’ tradition dating back to ancient times. For some, the tree symbolizes the safety of the project. For others the tree brings good luck and prosperity to the future occupants of the building.

As part of HISD’s current bond program, Wisdom High School (formerly Lee High School) will receive a new 240,000-square-foot facility that features a two-story building divided into four neighborhood wings with flexible learning spaces and plenty of windows to maximize natural light. The main entrance to the school will continue to face north, allowing the campus to keep its historic Beverly Hill street address.

Plans for the new school were designed by WHR Architects and Lake Flato Architects.

Students and staff will remain in their current school while construction on the new building is underway. The new school is expected to be ready for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Read more about the Wisdom High School project.