“The W44 beam is the deepest rolled through the commercial milling process at 49 feet long, 44 inches wide and weighing in at 19,147 pounds or 335 pounds/foot.”
FLINT, Mich. – Members of the Kettering community added a personal touch to the Learning Commons on Wednesday.
University Cabinet, staff, faculty and students signed one of the largest beams to be used in the project. Donor names were also added to the 49-foot-long piece of metal.
The W44 beam is the deepest rolled through the commercial milling process at 49 feet long, 44 inches wide and weighing in at 19,147 pounds or 335 pounds/foot.
It will be installed on the third floor, spanning the auditorium as part of the north building cantilever.
The $63 million, four-story state-of-the-art, multi-use facility will serve as the academic hub of campus. The 105,000-sq.-ft. structure will house a digital library, an auditorium, dining facilities, media resource centers, multiple collaboration spaces, guest suite and more. World-renowned architectural firm Stantec designed the building. Stantec has designed academic facilities in 37 states and provinces across North America.
More than $44 million has been committed to the project, including a $12.5 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and other gifts. Several naming opportunities are still available including the amphitheater, fabrication lab, courtyard, rooftop terrace and the building itself.
Kettering University officially broke ground Feb. 5, however, the project was delayed about a month because of COVID-19 and then another four weeks because of rain.
Overall, the project is about 20 percent complete while construction officials still try to make up the days that were missed, said Joe Asperger, University Director of Physical Plant.
“We’re still trying to make up the rain days,” he said. “We are optimistic that in the next year and a half, we can make up most, if not all, of the time lost.”
The mass excavation for the basement is complete with about 90 percent of all structural foundations done, too. Work will continue through the winter, Asperger said.
“Each week, as the steel is being erected, you can see the structural steel give shape to the building,” he said. “As they complete the composite metal decking on each floor, they’ll pour the concrete slab over it.”
The building project is facilitated by Clark Construction of Lansing and multiple Flint-community contractors. It is expected to be completed by Fall 2022.