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Last major piece of Lincoln Northwest High School hoisted into place
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Last major piece of Lincoln Northwest High School hoisted into place

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Lincoln Northwest High School topping ceremony, Friday, July 23, 2021.

The white-painted steel beam covered in Sharpie signatures and balancing an evergreen tree and American flag was more symbolic than anything, but nonetheless important.

When snugly fitted above the north main entrance of Lincoln Northwest High School during a Friday ceremony, the beam -- the school's last major piece -- marked the completion of the building's skeletal structure after months of work.

New high school

A rendering shows the entrance to Lincoln's new high schools. The schools in southeast and northwest Lincoln will have similar designs.

"It's a milestone," said LPS Director of Operations Scott Wieskamp. "You know you have sort of the heavy lifting done."

School officials and ironworkers marked that milestone during Friday's "topping" ceremony as a way to acknowledge the hard work already put into the project and to instill good luck going forward.

Northwest High School, 7.23

Signatures are seen on the last major beam of Lincoln Northwest High School during a ceremony Friday.

And there's still a lot left to complete, Wieskamp said, from utility installation to pouring concrete and setting up drywall. Wieskamp estimated about 75% of contractors -- like plumbers and electricians -- approved to work on projects are on site.

"It's a small town out there every day," he said.

Northwest High School, 7.23

The last major beam of Lincoln Northwest High School is hoisted into place Friday.

Lincoln Northwest, located on the southern edge of Air Park, is one of three new schools being built with money from a $290 million bond issue voters approved in 2020. The other two schools -- Ada Robinson Elementary and Standing Bear High School -- are slated to open in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

School board awards $3.2 million bid for kitchens at new high schools, eyes last practice field turf project
Shared athletic complexes at new LPS high schools to be built in phases
Name recommendations for Northwest High, Robinson Elementary move forward

Contact the writer at or 402-473-7225. On Twitter @zach_hammack


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K-12 education reporter

Zach Hammack, a 2018 UNL graduate, has always called Lincoln home. He previously worked as a copy editor at the Journal Star and was a reporting intern in 2017. Now, he covers students, teachers and schools as the newspaper’s K-12 reporter.

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