It's been seen by many as Huddersfield’s biggest Meccano set.
Thousands have watched over the weeks as the latest building on the University of Huddersfield’s Queensgate campus takes shape.
Hundreds of tons of steelwork have been craned and bolted into place to form the skeleton of the new Oastler Building - likened by many to the front of a luxury liner.
Now a key “topping out” ceremony has taken place, with University Vice Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan having the honour of fitting the ceremonial final bolt to hold two huge steel trusses in place.
The two 16.2 metre steel trusses have been lowered into position to top off the £27.5m building.
They will help lock the structure in place. The ‘topping out’ ceremony usually commemorates the installation of a final beam at the top of a structure. But the two herringbone pattern trusses extend vertically from the ground floor to the roof of the new building, acting as a frame for the main entrance to the building and support the roof.
The trusses have been made by Halifax-based firm Elland Steel Structures Ltd – which has fabricated 674 tonnes of components for the new building – and were trucked to the University in the early hours so as not to disrupt commuter traffic.
Workers for construction firm Morgan Sindall then lowered the trusses from a huge crane into special “shoes”, to position them in place.
West Yorkshire’s High Sherriff, Chris Brown, joined Prof Cryan to insert a bolt as a ceremonial means of marking this key phase in the completion of the building.
When ready for use at the start of 2017, the building will be a new base for the law school and for the study of humanities.
Huddersfield-based architects AHR and building contractors Morgan Sindall are using use local manufacturers and suppliers as much as possible in the design and construction of the building.
The next phase will see the structure’s steel and aluminium frame faced with 2,092 square metres of glazing, fabricated by Huddersfield firm Dual Seal Glass Ltd and Brighouse company HWA.
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Other major contributors to the build include the Myers Group, proprietors of Johnson’s Wellfield Quarry at Crosland Moor, Huddersfield. It has furnished 1,713 square metres of locally quarried stone and are a major supplier of concrete for the structure.
The new building is to be named after the 19th century campaigner for factory reform Richard Oastler, who had strong Huddersfield connections.