Community marks its place in Tech history at topping ceremony

LESLIE JONES/THE ARKA TECH: Members of the Arkansas Tech community signed a supporting beam of the new academic facility that is being constructed  during a topping ceremony Monday.
LESLIE JONES/THE ARKA TECH: Members of the Arkansas Tech community signed a supporting beam of the new academic facility that is being constructed during a topping ceremony Monday.

A topping out ceremony on Monday for Arkansas Tech’s newest facility allowed the community to have a lasting mark on the university’s history.

Members of the Tech community signed the beam that was placed at the highest point of the building project, which is scheduled to be completed next fall.

President Dr. Robin E. Bowen addressed the community during the ceremony.

“We are gathered today to celebrate a significant milestone for an important project at Arkansas Tech University,” Bowen said.

“Ceremonies such as this one are intended to express appreciation for the individuals working on the project,” Bowen said. “It is also an opportunity to look ahead to how the facility under construction will improve the lives of those who will pass through its doors.”

Along with classrooms, the building will house conference rooms and offices for admissions, registrar, student accounts, financial aid, payroll, budget, human resources and TRIO.

“When this facility opens, and for decades afterward, the members of the Tech family who signed the beam representative of the topping out will be able to feel a special connection with this building and share that connection with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren,” Bowen said.

The facility will be named after Dr. Robert C. Brown and his wife, Jill Lestage Brown.

LESLIE JONES/THE ARKA TECH: Members of the Arkansas Tech University community signed a piece of Tech history during a topping ceremony on Monday.
LESLIE JONES/THE ARKA TECH: Members of the Arkansas Tech University community signed a piece of Tech history during a topping ceremony on Monday.

The 66,900-square-foot academic, student support and administrative building cost $16 million.

Chairman of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees addressed the community on the leadership of Brown during his term as 11th president of the university.

“I have said on many occasions that under the leadership of Dr. Brown, there was a renaissance that took place on this campus,” Kennedy said. “Members of the board of trustees had to amend the rules in order to name this the Brown building, but we all felt like it was fitting because of the leadership he demonstrated while he was president.”

Kennedy continued, “We as trustees are so pleased with the physical transformation that has taken place at Arkansas Tech. We are so excited about the future because there’s going to be a renaissance from within taking place as we go forward, and it’s going to be carried out across this state in the hearts and minds of all the young people that we touch.”

About Laura Bean 54 Articles

Laura Bean managed The Arka Tech during the 2014-2015 academic year. As of June 2015, she is the managing editor of a weekly in northern Arkansas.