By Alyssa Schnugg
Eight months into construction, the last precast cement slab was placed on the downtown parking garage during a Topping-Out Ceremony Monday morning.
The ceremony was held by Innovative Construction Management to thank the various construction companies and their workers for all the hard work they’ve put in thus far, and to thank city leaders and the Downtown Parking Advisory Commission.
The Topping-Out ceremony is a custom that celebrates the construction process and honors the accomplishments of the construction crew. It’s reminiscent of old-fashioned, barn-raising celebrations.
ICM is the construction team hired by the city to manage the garage’s construction.
The construction workers were treated to lunch catered by Taylor Grocery. After the workers and city leaders and officials broke bread – or catfish – together, Mayor Robyn Tannehill and other city officials took a tour of the garage.
A large banner, signed by the workers and city officials was tied to the last concrete slab before it was lifted up to be placed on top of the parking garage.
“This is personal to me because I grew up here in Oxford and I’m proud to say I’m from Oxford,” said Project Manager Blane Sellers, who also thanked all the construction companies and workers for their hard work.
Despite a rainy winter and spring, Sellers said the garage is on schedule to be done in September.
Superintendent Dave Schmidt said the Oxford officials he’s worked with during the construction have all been “absolutely amazing.”
“We thank you for having this brainchild,” he said.
The garage is located on the Oxford Square North parking lot that is directly northwest of the Square between Jefferson and Monroe avenues. The total square footage of the garage will be 141,800 square feet and will have four levels that will house 399 parking spaces.
The garage will have elevators and stairs for those patrons wishing to use the upper levels and there will also be visitor restrooms that are accessible from the outside of the building. The lot surrounding the garage will consist of 86 regular spaces, four handicap spaces and two large charter bus spaces.