PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
NSCC trustee James Ridley, center, and Superintendent Catherine C. Latham, right, sign the beam as NSCC President Patricia Gentile looks on in the background.
BY THOR JOURGENSEN
LYNN — North Shore Community College students, administrators and local elected officials braved Friday’s freezing temperatures to celebrate a landmark event in the new campus addition’s construction.
Led by college President Patricia Gentile and state Sen. Thomas M. McGee, two dozen people signed their names and congratulatory messages with Magic Marker on a steel beam. DeIulis Brothers Construction Company workers painted the beam white and set it aside to “top off” the 37,000 square foot addition’s metal skeleton.
“For the city of Lynn, this is a sign of progress,” said Patrick DeIulis, vice president of the Lynn-based construction company.
With ground broken on the project last September, construction has progressed with workers completing the addition’s steel frame before utility work is undertaken in advance of workers pouring concrete flooring and doing more framing work.
Scheduled to be completed in December, the addition will feature 10 classrooms, a one-stop Student Success Center where students can get financial aid, registration and application questions answered and an academic technology and professional development center.
The addition is the first major construction project started on the Lynn campus since the campus was built in 1985. Designed to serve 1,000 students and named for McGee’s father, the late Thomas W. McGee, the building is currently used by 4,000 students.
“Space is a challenge and this will relieve that challenge,” Gentile said.
McGee said the addition’s completion will mark a chance for the college to expand his father’s vision for affordable college education for Lynn area residents.
“It’s a vision we all continue to have,” he said.
Friday’s ceremony is one of the final public events state Rep. Robert Fennell attended as he completes plans to end his 20-year legislative career and start his job as Lynn Water and Sewer Commission deputy director sometime in February.
Fennell recalled how he worked with McGee and fellow legislators beginning 14 years ago to secure state money for the addition.
“We kept pushing to get it done,” Fennell said.
Lynn resident and environmental horticulture student Alisha Raby-Cefalo “made a special trip” to the Lynn campus Friday to attend the “topping off” ceremony.
“I really wanted to get my name on that beam: I love this school so much,” she said.
Thor Jourgensen can be reached at [email protected]