The "topping off" typically refers to the placing of the final beam in a steel structure. Midday on Friday, the Dublin Unified School District held a ceremony marking the occasion at the Emerald High School construction site, offering visitors the chance to witness the beam movement and tour the area. Though total construction is still incomplete, school staff said this occurrence signifies a major point in the development process.
Francis Rojas, founding principal, began with a speech that welcomed audience members and confirmed the to-be mascot of the new school: future students of Emerald High will be declared "Serpents".
Rojas spoke to the Weekly about the event's significance and shared reflections about the school's progress so far.
"Today's ceremony really focuses on a milestone in the construction process," Rojas said, who has worked in education administration for almost 14 years. "It was one of the final beams of steel that's been put into our structure for phase one."
"This is also very symbolic of where we're at in building the learning community for Emerald High School. Parallel to the physical construction of the school, we're also designing and constructing the academic and cultural programs for the school," he added.
Rojas explained that the school has a design team, also present at the ceremony, who holds meetings every three weeks.
"We learn together about different innovations in education, trends in workforce development especially here in the Tri-Valley in the Bay Area, so we can prepare our students for that," he said.
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to sign the beam before construction workers lifted and placed the final piece of steel.
Located at 3600 Central Pkwy., construction of the school began last December. The campus is set to accommodate approximately 2,500 students upon completion of the building process. It is scheduled to close out spring of 2024.
"This is a testament to the dreams and the desires of this community to open up a second high school," Rojas said. "It's just an amazing project. We're continuing to build both physically and also culturally."
"I'm looking forward to how it makes an impact in our community. As a high school educator and administrator," Rojas said. "High schools are the hub of a community. As families, we raise our children with hopes and dreams of their future and this is where it culminates before they move on to college or their career."
More information about Emerald High School can be found at ehs.dublinusd.org.