DIGNITARIES gathered for a ceremony on top of the newest addition to Huddersfield’s skyline.
Around 30 people took part in the topping out celebration at the new Kirklees College building which is being constructed off Manchester Road.
Yesterday’s ceremony marked the completion of the highest point of the main building on the site.
Skills Funding Agency chief executive Geoff Russell unveiled the commemorative stone in front of dignitaries from Kirklees College and Kirklees Council.
The piece of Stanton Moor sandstone is currently on the eighth floor, but will be placed within the wall on the canalside of the building.
Unveiling the stone, Mr Russell said: "Kirklees College has reached a significant and exciting milestone. I have no doubt that this new centre will soon become an inspiring place where people learn new skills.
"This centre will be a proud presence that will surely serve as a beacon of aspiration and excellence."
Kirklees College principal Chris Sadler was also among dignitaries on the eighth floor yesterday afternoon.
He will retire in May – 16 months before the college relocates from New North Road to Manchester Road.
Mr Sadler said: "Today is about optimism and looking up. The new college centre will provide an excellent new resource which is worth celebrating.
"The next few years will be challenging for further education colleges across the country but we are in a fortunate enough position of having something to look forward to."
They were joined on the eighth floor by college staff and representatives of builders Allenbuild.
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney was also at the event, as were Kirklees Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan and Cabinet member for regeneration Clr Peter McBride.
Clr Khan said: "The new college building will provide a huge boost to everyone working and studying there. It will provide a purpose-built learning environment tailored to meet the needs of future students who will be well-placed to become a key part of the workforce of our area."
The dignitaries then moved down two floors to release 230 balloons – one for each of the rooms in the building. The new £74m campus – known as the Waterfront Quarter – will take up 260,000sq ft of land between Chapel Hill, Manchester Road and the River Colne.
The three-block development will have room for 16,000 students.
The college will move to the new site from its current campus on New North Road next year.