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'Topping Off' The Events Center

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The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center has been ‘topped off’. Putting the final beam on the top of a building is called ‘topping off.’ This is a long held tradition held by construction companies. Wednesday, hundreds of city leaders, construction workers, and members of the community were at the events center to share the very special moment.

"How awesome is this, how incredible is this," asked Dan Mehls, Mortenson Construction.

The bowl of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center was packed Wednesday evening as a major milestone in the construction was celebrated.

 Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether said, "Let’s give a round of applause to the construction workers."

Since July of 2012 over 200 people have been working daily to build the 12,000 seat events center. Wednesday, they were busy signing the final 30 foot beam that will hold the roof of the stadium.

But it wasn't just signatures on the beam that made it so special, so did the evergreen tree, and the American flag.

 "The flag represents the American dream and American pride," Mehls said.

The tree symbolizes the safe work environment that's been in place. Since construction began not a single worker has been injured.

"The second part of the evergreen represents the growth and prosperity of the community," Mehls explained.

The tree will eventually be planted on the grounds of the events center.

After a quick last signature by Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether, it was time to hoist the beam to its final place. And as it was lifted 130 feet into the air, all you could hear was the sound of the crane.

Director of Sioux Falls Public Works Mark Cotter said, "Remember back to for just a minute the first event you went to in the Arena, and now imagine the first event you will be at in this new facility."

"This community has waited a long time for a venue like this, and look at how close we are," Mehls said.

 The next big milestone will be in 2.5 weeks. At that point the events center will be enclosed and crews will begin building the inside during the winter.
The $117 million project is still on budget and its set to open in the fall of 2014.  However, on Wednesday construction managers said they are 4 hours ahead of schedule.
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