Published: Nov. 24, 2010

State and University of Colorado at Boulder leaders, faculty and supporters will gather with construction workers on Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. to celebrate the topping out of the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on CU-Boulder's East Campus.

The event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and is open to members of the campus community and the news media. Light refreshments will be served.

The 257,000-square-foot Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building was designed with the primary goal of promoting "productive collisions" between scientists working across disciplines to solve significant biomedical challenges. When the main portion of the building is completed in late fall of 2011, the new building will be home to the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, the chemical and biological engineering department and the biochemistry division of the chemistry and biochemistry department.

Generally thought to have its origins in ancient Scandinavia, a topping out ceremony is held in modern times to recognize the safe and effective construction of a building's infrastructure by its workers, symbolized by the raising and securing of the last steel beam into its place at the top of the building. Various established rituals -- including the addition to the final beam of a small fir tree, local and national flags, and signatures of the ceremony attendees -- often are incorporated into the event.