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'Topping off' ceremony signals next step in Springfield Civic Center Garage construction

A 'topping off' ceremony was held in Springfield, Mass., February 20, 2024, marking the placement of a final slab of concrete on the building of a new garage.
Jill Kaufman
/
NEPM
A 'topping off' ceremony was held in Springfield, Mass., February 20, 2024, marking the placement of a final slab of concrete on the building of a new garage.

A "topping off" ceremony is the latest milestone in the building of a new downtown garage and retail space in Springfield, Mass. Tuesday, workers placed a final slab of concrete measuring approximately six feet by thirty feet, weighing about 11 tons, atop the structure

"That's the highest piece up there that has the banner," said Tammy Hamelin pointing upward. Hamelin is a project manager at Aracadis, the company hired by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, owners of the future "Convention Center Carpark and Plaza."

"We do these topping off ceremonies when we have the last piece go on," Hamelin said.

The construction site is adjacent to the MassMutual Center, which the state also owns, and nearby MGM manages.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno attended the ceremony and congratulated the members of Ironworkers Local 7 for their efficiency with the project.

"The speed in which this $80 million project has gone up is simply incredible. It has been amazing to watch the progress every day," he said.

The new garage will accommodate up to 900 cars and offer electric vehicle chargers.

The first floor will include a restaurant and retail space. The garage is expected to open in early 2025 Hamelin said, and the retail and restaurant in the spring 2025. The design of an adjacent public plaza features retail kiosks.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."