Land O'Lakes celebrates with U of M at Athletes Village topping off ceremony
Land O'Lakes and the U of M celebrated a construction milestone on April 28 when the final structural beam was placed in the U of M’s Athletes Village project, which includes the Land O'Lakes Center for Excellence. Also called “topping off,” the ceremony is traditionally a celebratory time as the last beam, which is painted white and signed by key stakeholders, is placed atop a structure.
The event's 400-plus guests heard remarks from U of M Athletic Director Mark Coyle, student-athletes, a representative from M.A. Mortenson Construction, as well as the Nothing Short of Greatness fundraising campaign chairman Lou Nanne.
"This project is transformational for our University and our athletics department in so many ways," Coyle told the crowd. "On the day these facilities open next winter, our students and coaches will go from working in some of the worst development facilities in the Big Ten to some of the best."
The final beam was then hoisted into the air by crane and carefully guided into position. Its placing is the latest milestone in the project to modernize the development facilities Gopher student-athletes use every day. The Athletes Village, which consists of the Land O'Lakes Center for Excellence, the Charlie and Kathy Cunningham Basketball Development Center, the Larson Family Football Performance Center, and the indoor practice facility, is scheduled to open this coming January.
Photos: U of M Intercollegiate Athletics