The final beam of the new Lincoln Elementary School was put in place Aug. 5 at the school, 261 Helmbright Drive, near Gahanna Middle School South.

Steve Barrett, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools superintendent, said he is pleased to see the final beam of the new school placed on the structure.

"It is a wonderful milestone and a memorable step in the building process," he said. "We are fortunate to have been blessed with great weather this summer, which has allowed our construction crew to make excellent progress."

Barrett said it is rewarding for the community to watch the structure take shape and turn into something that looks like a new school.

"We have made up for all the rain we had in the spring and construction is progressing on time," Barrett said.

When a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new school in February, district communications coordinator Judy Hengstebeck said the district expected the next celebration to be a "Topping Out Ceremony" to mark the installation of the final steel beam.

"Unfortunately, the COVID-19 restrictions made it impossible to safely gather groups of people together for a celebration," she said. "Although our celebration was scaled back, many community members joined us along Helmbright Drive to watch the beam as it was hoisted in place by a large crane."

She said construction traditions were honored as a U.S. flag and two artificial evergreen trees were placed on the beam.

Hengstebeck said the trees acknowledges the accomplishments of the construction crew in safely reaching this point in the building process.

"It is also a wish for continued good luck and prosperity to the crew and the eventual occupants of the school," she said.

Jamie Srbljan, Corna Kokosing Construction Co. project manager for the school's construction, said work in July included installation of concrete slabs starting on the second floor, the installation of a new basketball court and completion of a new parking lot and sidewalks around Middle School South. Masonry work also continued on the gymnasium and cafeteria, exterior-wall framing started and structural steel work reached about 80% completion.

She said work continuing this month includes completion of structural steel and pouring of concrete slabs.

Exterior-wall framing and the exterior building facade will begin going up, he said.

Interior-wall framing also will start, as well as electrical and mechanical rough-ins behind wall framing, according to Srbljan.

The final seeding will take place around the middle school.

In May 2018, voters approved a 1.22-mill, 30-year bond issue and a 4.28-mill continuing operating levy, for a total of 5.5 mills, that are financing the new elementary school which will replace Lincoln Elementary School, 515 Havens Corners Road.

In addition to the new elementary school, the bond has financed furniture replacement projects and the renovations of restrooms, media centers and classrooms in K-8 buildings.

Barrett said the district is looking forward to opening the new elementary in August 2021.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla