By Sarah Battest
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Mar. 5, 2002
Construction project will now focus on external construction and electrical wiring
Union construction reached a milestone Friday when the final piece of the building's steel skeleton was placed on the south side of the UofA Bookstore.
Bob Bertolini, general superintendent of the project for Swinerton Builders, said now that the skeleton of the Student Union Memorial Center is complete, construction is ahead of schedule.
The next phase of the construction project will focus on completing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing of the union before some of the walls are put up.
Brick laying and ceiling work will also begin next week, he said.
Bertolini said students will still have to make their way around the blocked-off construction area for a few more months, but he said he believes that if no major problems arise the union will be complete in mid-December.
"It's like a skeleton and now we can flesh it out," said Chris Kraft, a manger with facilities design and construction.
To mark the placement of the final piece of steel, an American flag was put on the steel.
Placing an American flag on the last piece of steel has been an ironworkers tradition since the union's creation in 1896, said Bill Pate, superintendent of Parson's Steel.
Bertolini said he believes the flag hoisting is a symbol of the hard work done by those involved with the building project.
"It signifies the spirit of the working man," he said.
The last piece of steel is picked out beforehand to ensure it's a piece that people will be able to see, Pate said.