The final steel beam for Southern’s new home for the College of Health and Human Services building was swung up and into the building’s structure on October 23, as part of a “topping off” ceremony on campus.
Scheduled for completion in fall 2021, the building will provide greatly enhanced, research and experiential learning opportunities for students and faculty in the health-related fields.
Healthcare today is fully integrated – for example, recreation therapists, nurses, and speech language pathologists work side-by-side to provide to provide essential services to their patients,” said President Joe Bertolino. “ It is vital that our health and human services programs share a common facility where they can interact and communicate.”
By producing more graduates with much-needed expertise in these fields, Southern will continue to be a key player in Connecticut’s economic revival, Bertolino said.
The new building will also serve as resource for the off-campus community, through expanded speech therapy and hearing clinics, human performance lab and our center for adaptive sport and inclusive recreation – all of which will be free and open to the public.
As part of the ceremony, members of the Southern community signed the beam before it was lifted skyward. The beam carried with it a small fir tree, a nod to a contractor’s tradition begun years ago by Scandinavians who believed their gods lived in trees. Today, adding a tree is a nod to sturdy and lasting craftsmanship and a symbol of good luck to the owner
In his comments, Bertolino said that the completion of the new building’s framework also symbolized that “the beating heart of Southern is alive and well.”
“That despite the challenges we face, our teaching, our work, our services in support of our students continue to move ahead,” Bertolino said. “And that one day soon we will emerge from this pandemic stronger, more versatile and more innovative than we were before.”