Topping Off SCH’s new McCausland Lower School & Commons
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy paused construction on the site of the McCausland Lower School & Commons for a moment this past week to celebrate a long-standing building practice called a “Topping Off” ceremony. With more than 300 students and faculty bundled up to witness the milestone moment, the last of the roof trusses was hoisted into place, bearing the names of the future occupants of the new, contemporary building.
In preparation for the event, the truss was painted yellow—with a large “SCH”— and made accessible for eager Lower School boys and girls to sign their names. At the ceremony, the truss was raised into position with a small evergreen attached to the crane to appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced in its construction. The event marks the symbolic completion of the structural phase of the building, which remains on schedule to welcome students in the fall of 2019.
An enthusiastic Head of School Steve Druggan stated, “We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this moment in time with the very students and faculty for which it is being built. They will continue our legacy of over 150 years of educational excellence.”
The three-story, 75,000-square-foot McCausland Lower School & Commons is perched on a wooded area within the school property, adjacent to the Wissahickon park land. SCH students of all ages have been stewards of the Wissahickon Watershed for decades, and getting outdoors for environmental education, creek water studies, park maintenance, field trips, and more are all hallmarks of the school. In addition to being positioned to take advantage of the natural world, the building has been designed to showcase SCH Academy’s standout educational program that has propelled the school to the forefront of educational thought and best practice.