MERIDEN — For the past four months, students in classrooms on the north side of Maloney High School have been able to watch construction work through classroom windows.
Over that span, a new wing, expected to open late next year, has taken shape.
On Friday afternoon, students lined the windows to watch the final piece of steel hoisted onto the four-story classroom wing.
Once in place, students, staff and other officials on hand cheered.
“This is a major milestone for us,” said project manager Karrie Kratz, of Gilbane Building Co.
Before it was lifted by the massive crane, school officials and Board of Education members signed the steel beam, which had already been signed by class officers and class advisors.
Logos of Gilbane, architectural firm Fletcher Thompson and Meriden schools were all posted on the beam and names of local trade unions were on the opposite side.
An American flag was attached to the beam and an evergreen tree was placed on it.
“The evergreen tree is a sign of good luck,” Kratz said of the construction tradition that originated in Scandinavia.
As the beam was hoisted, members of the Maloney band played “God Bless America” and school officials took pictures and video with their camera phones.
The new wing is expected to open in November 2014. Workers began erecting steel in early November 2013.
The $107.5 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
In addition to the new wing, the wing from which many of the students were watching, will be demolished in the years to come and the interior and the exteriors of the schools will be renovated.
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