St. Francis Xavier Catholic “Topping Out” Ceremony
St. Francis Xavier Catholic School held a Topping Out Ceremony on the construction site of its new school. “Topping out” is a ceremony traditionally held when the last beam is placed atop a structure during its construction.
St. Francis Xavier, the oldest private school in Brunswick, Ga., broke ground on the 30,000-square-foot campus in November of 2021. Staff, students, local dignitaries, as well as representatives of Savannah-based architecture firm Felder & Associates, and West Construction Company gathered again as the last piece of steel was raised into place. Guests signed the beam ahead of the ceremony, and young students who can’t write, yet, left their marks with a thumbprint. “It is important to preserve these types of traditions,” said Brian Felder, managing principal of Felder & Associates. “Topping out ceremonies serve as an important benchmark for those involved in the construction of this school and the children who will study, learn and grow here.” The new building will encompass preschool through eighth grade, featuring classrooms with the latest technology, as well as a cafetorium, computer lab, science lab, honors classrooms, library, and music room. The building itself will incorporate a unique blend of modern constructions benefits and traditional architecture. The campus will also include a new playground and play surfaces that will be self-contained with modern safety and security measures. “The future is bright for our children, with a new, modern facility to enhance their educational opportunities so close to being completed,” said Dr. Terry Mermann, principal of St. Francis Xavier Catholic School. “Knowing that our mark will remain on the infrastructure of the steel building lends even more significance to this undertaking and reenergizes us for the next stage of this building project.”
Matt West, President of West Construction, said, “This ceremony dates back to 700 A.D. and is believed to bring good luck to the builders and the owners. As blessed as we have been with the construction to this point, we’re looking forward to a safe and successful project going forward. It’s only fitting that a ceremony with this much history is held at a parish as historic as St. Francis Xavier.“
ABOUT ST. FRANCIS XAVIER SCHOOL
St. Francis Xavier Catholic School is the oldest private school in Brunswick, GA, established in Glynn County in 1900. It is part of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah, is accredited by Cognia/SACS, and is a member of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). The school’s mission is to educate the whole child through academics, co-curricular, faith-formation and service programs.
ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATESEstablished in 2012, Felder & Associates specializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building and neo-traditional building. The firm has experienced a 10% yearly growth for the past three consecutive years, and holds memberships with the Historic Savannah Foundation, the American Institutes of Architects and the United States Green Building Council. Recognitions include historic preservation awards from the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Excellence in Rehabilitation award, the Georgia Association of The American Institute of Architects Design Award in Renovation and a special judges’ award from Hospitality Design magazine. Felder & Associates is located at 2514 Abercorn Street, Suite 120, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call 912-777-3979, or visit www.felderassociates.net.
ABOUT WEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
West Construction Company was established in 2014 at the recommendation of several local business leaders in Savannah, GA, who saw an opportunity for a mid-sized commercial construction company that could provide a more personalized and thoughtful experience to its clients. They have heeded that advice since day one, and with each successful project, we have grown in reputation to become one of the most respected construction firms in Southeast Georgia.
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