Topping off a construction milestone

topping off ceremony for the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Complex

A traditional topping-off ceremony was held this morning to mark a milestone in the construction of Brock’s newest research facility, and recognize the workers and contractors who are building the new structure.


Jeff Cairns speaks at the topping-off ceremony.

More than 60 people gathered for the event, which celebrated the completion of the main structure for the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Complex. The building is scheduled for occupancy in summer 2012.

“As far back as 700 AD, Scandinavians were reportedly topping off construction of new halls with sheathes of grain that were gifts for the horse of the Norse god, Odin,” said Rudi Kroeker, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, at the ceremony. “The deal was that Odin in turn bestowed good luck on the future occupants.”

The Cairns Complex will be a 176,530-square-foot, $111.4-million world-class facility that will provide support for four Canada Research Chairs and several award-winning researchers in biotechnology, green chemistry, plant pathology and health and wellness.

“From the beginning, we were very excited when we were asked to invest in Brock’s newest development,” said Jeff Cairns at the event. “We did our due diligence — and we think that we’ve struck gold.”

“More than providing a major teaching and research asset for Brock University, the new health and biosciences complex is in fact the doorway to a stronger future. It’s an opportunity that the people of Niagara simply cannot afford to miss out on.”

The project received a Government of Canada investment of $38 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) and $33.5 million from the Ontario government through the 2009 budget. Other investments include $2 million from the Regional Municipality of Niagara and $37.9 million to be raised by Brock.

During the ceremony, President Jack Lightstone acknowledged those who have been instrumental in making the project a reality thus far — project managers MHPM; architects ArchitectsAlliance and Payette Associates; construction manager EllisDon; and sub-contractors Res 2000, Salit Steel, Dufferin Concrete and Halsall Associates who were responsible for the structural work.

“Please join me in acknowledging the men and women who have brought us to this point — the workers, designers, technicians and specialists who have worked through the seasons, through the weather,” Lightstone said. “And through the stubborn bedrock of the Niagara escarpment, which did not give in willingly.”

Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines and Tim Smith, Senior Vice-President, EllisDon, also spoke at the event.

Media release

Radio interview with Ian Brindle, Vice-President Research, on CFRB (mp3)

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