“Topping Off” ceremony at Pinnacle Bank Arena

By: Cole Miller

That last steel beam many of you signed was put into place Wednesday. It's the final beam going up in the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

“Good morning to all of you! You feeling great? Oh, my! Shouldn't we be?” Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler said.

Beutler's words echo off the cold steel and concrete walls inside of the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

“You see all of the hard work, where a community comes together on a project and to see it at this point and to see what it's going to be here in another year, it's pretty awesome stuff!” Nebraska men's basketball coach Tim Miles said.

Wednesday marked a key date in construction. It was the “topping off” ceremony. With a few more signatures on the final steel beam, it was lifted into place.

“You'll be able to look up in the arena when you're watching the Husker men and women win basketball games and see the beam hopefully many people signed,” Hampton Enterprises President and CEO Bob Caldwell said.

It will be a fresh start for the men's basketball team. One coach Miles hopes will bring a string of wins in his second season.

“I can't think of a better place to start than right here in Pinnacle Bank Arena!” Miles said.

It took a lot of hard work to get here. Officials credit leadership, partnership and staying on schedule. All with the help of men and women from our own backyard.

Project leaders say one of the biggest accomplishments with the arena is the fact that they were able to keep 90% of the jobs local.

With their newly autographed Tom Osborne hard hats, it's back to work, helping to make a great city even better.

“I think we're recognizing our city as being one of the quality cities in America and I think we're prepared to move ahead with that vision and concept,” Beutler said.

Project leaders say most of the exterior work should be done by late next month. It's on budget and on time, scheduled for completion next September.