Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

New Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall is ‘topped out’

One of the last pieces of structural steel enclosing the roof on the University of Denver’s Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall was lifted to the top of the building during a “topping out” ceremony Oct. 5, marking a significant landmark in the project.

The $21.4 million building is slated for a June 2010 completion and will house the Morgridge College of Education, Learning Effectiveness Program (LEP) and Disabilities Services Program (DSP) at the northeast corner of Evans Avenue and High Street.

“This is a major milestone toward completion of our new building,” says Gregory Anderson, dean of the Morgridge College of Education. “Ruffatto Hall is already changing the landscape of our campus, and soon I am confident it will be the incubator for the advancement of education in the future.”

Topping out is one of the construction industry’s oldest traditions and represents a defining point in the building process — the point where the building is fully enclosed.

For the ceremony, the final steel beam to be affixed to the roof was signed on the ground by Anderson, Chancellor Robert Coombe, building donors Mike and Katherine Ruffatto, John and Carrie Morgridge, project and building committee members and the Adolfson and Peterson Construction crew before it was hoisted and welded into place amid a shower of sparks. The peak of the roof reaches about 70 feet into the sky, marking an altitude of 5,420 feet.

When finished, Ruffatto Hall will be one of three recent DU structures to be built “green.” The building incorporates the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards for environmental construction. Nagel Hall and the Ricketson Law building have received LEED gold ratings. Ruffatto Hall also will also be submitted for a gold rating, continuing DU’s commitment to sustainable building.

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