It was a safe and successful 5-month-long construction project for dozens of local workers at Emergent BioSolution's new administrative building on N. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.
Employees, construction workers, and city officials gathered for the traditional topping out ceremony Thursday to see the final piece of steel placed along with an American flag and signed banner.
"I get kind of a lump in my throat when the iron is being hoisted into place, a topping out deal," said Marc Crance, Iron Workers Local 25 Business Agent. "So, I'm one of those guys. It's pretty much been my life, union iron working, and it's been a good life, but we could use some more of it."
The City of Lansing wants to see more of it, too. Since 2008, Emergent has created more than 100 jobs in Lansing, and it's a trend the city hopes continues.
"We're open to the expansion of this great partnership," Chad Gamble, Lansing's Chief Operating Office said. "There's lots of other land around this area, and I think we've really developed this relationship, and that's so very vital to us in the city of Lansing, and we'd love to celebrate another topping off of a building, you know, next week."
It took three Olympic-sized pools worth of dirt and more than 200 tons of steel to create the newest structure. It will eventually include a dining area, workout center, and state of the art conference rooms for employees.
"We want to bring new products to this campus, and this facility," said President of the BioDefense Division at Emergent Adam Havey. "As a business, we're trying to expand our portfolio, so we're going to continue to push for that and continue to grow our capabilities."
That means more positions at Emergent and more construction projects.
"We can't do this by ourselves, we invested about $10 million, but that brings jobs," Havey said. "If it's iron workers, if it's construction firms, if it's engineering firms, so that brings things to the area, which is important. This is our home, this is our family, and we absolutely want to grow in this area."
He said the administrative building is just the second step of a five-year plan.
The building is expected to be completed in May 2013.