Sign On to the TLC’s ‘Topping-Off’ Event

Artist's rendering shows two-story-high canopy over stadium seating and a stairway.
Artist’s rendering shows what Associate Vice Chancellor Jim Carroll of Design and Construction Management calls “a phenomenal space” on the east side of the Teaching and Learning Complex next to the Silo. The exposed “signature” beam will be part of the canopy over stadium seating and a stairway to the second floor.

Quick Summary

  • Steel-erection phase is nearly finished for Teaching and Learning Complex near Silo
  • Invited guests will sign last beam before it’s hoisted into place as part of the canopy on the building’s east side
  • Everyone else is invited to submit their signatures by email by July 26 for inclusion on the beam

Some people will be signing in person and everyone is invited to sign online — to be a permanent part of the Teaching and Learning Complex, or TLC, now under construction.

The signatures will be affixed to an 18-foot-long piece of steel tubing that, when put in place, will be a visible part of the building as one of the components of a canopy over the south entry (on the east side of the building). The beam will be the last piece of steel to go up — cause for a “topping-off” event, Tuesday, Aug. 4, and the reason for the signatures.

Due to the pandemic, this topping-off will not be a big celebration. Instead, Design and Construction Management is limiting in-person attendance at the signing event and asking participants to register for one of eight 15-minute time slots. No more than five signers will be on-site at any time, allowing for proper physical distancing.

Personal invitations have gone out to about 200 people who have had a role in the project that will add classroom space for approximately 2,000 students.

Others in the campus community, including students, of course, are welcome to submit their signatures by email — and have until this coming Sunday (July 26) to do so. Here are the instructions:

  • Sign a piece of white paper with a Sharpie-style black pen or similar writing instrument.
  • Take a picture of it (high resolution).
  • Send it in by email.

The contractor plans to place the signatures on decals to be applied to the beam. The canopy the beam will be part of will be two stories off the ground; you’ll have a closer view of the signatures — 12 to 15 feet away — from a balcony off the TLC’s second floor. (The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art also features a commemorative beam, with signatures and artwork, visible in the Carol and Gerry Parker Art Studio.)

Vertical steel beams
Steel work continues on the TLC. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The TLC balcony sits at the top of stadium seating that will serve as an informal study and gathering place under the canopy. See artist’s rendering above. "This will be a phenomenal space," said Jim Carroll, associate vice chancellor, Design and Construction Management.

What’s more, the canopy — while providing shade — will offset the building’s energy use, by way of a photovoltaic installation.

A stairway alongside the stadium seating will provide access to and from the second story — which will serve as the building’s main floor, also accessible by a stairway on the north side along Hutchison Drive.

As for the actual topping-off, it will happen Wednesday, Aug. 5. By the time of the signing event, the construction crew will have knocked off for the day — they work from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to beat the heat — so the crew will erect the beam the next day.

The campus held a groundbreaking for the Teaching and Learning Complex in November. The building is due to be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2022.

Signature and a selfie!

The organizers are also calling for selfies of signers and their signatures. The images could become part of a video about the importance of this building to the campus. Send photos by email.

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