Friday, April 3, 2009

Trustees, donors "top" Scharbauer Hall

Clarence Scharbauer III and wife Kerry couldn't be prouder as they walked through the unfinished first floor of Scharbauer Hall this afternoon. The building will not open officially until January 2010, but the couple, both TCU trustees and lead donors for the facility, can already envision the possibilities.

"Imagine the discussions that will happen in this room," Clarence said as they strolled around the future 50-seat debate chamber. "This is where some of the most enlightened conversations and academic arguments at TCU will take place."

The tour followed an informal "topping" ceremony with donors, trustees, administrators and faculty in which Linbeck crew members hoisted a small tree to the roof, following an old pagan ritual to appease tree gods for providing the building material for construction. The tradition made its way to America via European immigrants. In the last century, it has become an important iron worker tradition to signify reaching the highest level of a construction.

When it opens for the Spring 2010 semester, the 73,000 square-foot Scharbauer Hall will be home for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts and the John V. Roach Honors College. The facility will be the university's first U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified facility.

In an interesting twist, attendees were invited to sign the underside of tiles that will be placed on the roof when construction is completed.

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