SPHHS Building Topped Out

Ceremony celebrates completion of major construction.

April 15, 2013

SPHHS building

In a “topping out” ceremony on April 10, the George Washington University community celebrated a significant milestone in the construction of the new building that will house the university’s School of Public Health and Health Services.

“Topping out” is a term that indicates that the initial structure of a construction project has reached its highest or top point. After topping out, construction to the building will include exterior work on the façade. Skylights, roofing and other additions to the building “skin,” including terra cotta panels and glass, will be installed.

Originally slated for a late 2013 completion date, the project is now scheduled to be finished in early 2014, with faculty and staff anticipated to transition to the new building during spring break 2014 and classes to begin in the summer 2014 session.

At the topping out ceremony, Lynn R. Goldman, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services, said she was thrilled to see the building’s progress.

“It is so exciting to meet many of the people who have worked so hard to construct this beautiful building and to stand here and look out on one of Washington's iconic vistas, Washington Circle,” she said. “This new SPHHS home will be a wonderful and special space for our students, faculty and staff to study, work and conduct research that will advance the field of public health.”

The 115,000-square-foot building, which will be home to more than 200 full- and part-time faculty, 1,200 graduate and undergraduate students and staff, will feature state-of-the-art classrooms, research labs, departmental office space and conference rooms and an interior central atrium. The building, which will have seven floors above ground and two below, will be the first GW building visible to visitors who approach campus from Washington Circle and Pennsylvania Avenue.

There are currently three other active construction sites from the 2007 Foggy Bottom Campus Plan. The Law Learning Center and G Street Garage projects (both below ground) in the 2100 block of G Street are near completion. The Science and Engineering Hall project is slated to reach ground level by mid-2013 and “top out” later this year, with completion expected for late 2014 and move-in planned in time for spring semester 2015 classes. The George Washington University Museum  and The Textile Museum building is scheduled for completion in early 2014, with occupancy and opening phases happening through mid-2014 and an inaugural opening exhibit anticipated for fall 2014.