Students Leave Indelible Marks on Gateway Building

Hundreds sign steel beam destined for use in Gateway Building

Hundreds of ESF students, faculty and staff members signed their names Tuesday to a 32-foot steel beam that will be installed in the College's new Gateway Building, which is expected to open next year.

The beam will soon be installed in an area that will become the ceiling of the Gateway Building's conference room. Through the day Tuesday, which was the last day of classes for the semester, the beam was set under a tent along a campus sidewalk near the construction site, a convenient place for students to stop between classes. Hundreds of them did just that, using black and silver permanent markers to leave signatures, doodles and messages such as, "Go, ESF!"

ESF Vice President for Administration Joseph Rufo said the construction project is a sign that ESF is continuing to thrive in a difficult economic climate. He noted that in addition to the Gateway Building, the College's first residence hall, Centennial Hall, is also under construction on campus and the planning process is under way for a new academic research building.

"For the next several years there will be cranes in the air and there will be a lot of activity," Rufo said. "It's a good indication that ESF can continue to design, create and produce these projects at this time.

"This is one of the last structural steel beams that will be installed in the Gateway," Rufo told a lunchtime crowd. "We invite you to sign it and be a part of this building long after it is built, and perhaps long after we are gone."

The Gateway Building will house administrative offices and campus gathering space. It will feature a green roof that includes rare plants, a photovoltaic array and a sophisticated combined-heat-and-power system that will provide energy for other buildings on campus.

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