MARQUETTE — Workers at the site of the City of Marquette’s new Municipal Service Center reached a big milestone Monday morning.

The ‘topping off’ ceremony is an ironworker tradition that marks a turning point in the construction: the placement of the last piece of structural steel on the building. Ironworkers from the Local 8 gathered with representatives from the city and contractor Gundlach Champion to commemorate the event. Crews raised the steel to the building’s top with a couple of extra attachments.

“We always put a flag and a tree. The tree is for everlasting life, with an evergreen. [It] signals the job has [had] no fatalaties [and] everybody worked safely,” said Ironworker Foreman Brian Lassila.

Those involved in the project also got a chance to put their signature on the steel before it was permanently put into place.

“It’s pretty impressive, and I’m honored to be able to do it, and we’re just thrilled to see this building finally shaping up,” said Marquette Mayor Dave Campana. “They are ahead of schedule right now, and the mild weather is helping immensely. So we’re looking forward to this building being done on time and hopefully under budget.”

The nearly $18 million project is the result of the city selling its previous center to Duke LifePoint to make way for the new hospital campus. Campana said the City hopes to be using the new facility next fall.