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Local leaders mark 'topping out' at OC Great Park

Irvine city officials hold a beam ceremony for the new Visitors Center Pavilion

by Scott McCourtneyPublished: December 05, 2012 04:15 PM

Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (front) joins
other officials in signing the steel beam
Irvine city officials gathered Wednesday with business and community leaders at the Orange County Great Park to mark the “topping out” ceremony for the park’s new Visitors Center Pavilion. Irvine Mayor and Director of the Orange County Great Park Sukhee Kang and Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Beth Krom were among the attendees at the foggy morning event to commemorate the construction progress of the new 4,762-square foot Visitors Center Pavilion at the new South Lawn Sports plus Fitness Complex.

Despite the foggy weather, dozens gathered near the Great Park Balloon to watch as the structure’s final 28-foot-long, 1,200-pound steel beam was hoisted into place during a special ceremony to mark the expansion of the Great Park.

“Today we are celebrating great progress. The Great Park has become a regional destination… We wanted very much to preserve the history of the land and the military base. I am so proud of the momentum the Great park has enjoyed,” said Beth Krom Mayor Pro Tem of Irvine and Chair of the Orange County Great Park Board.

“It was only a few short months ago construction began on this new project, which has created 54 times equivalent construction jobs and is on schedule to be completed next summer. The Visitor Center will include 1,000 tons of [concrete repurposed] from the El Toro runway. [Another] 4,000 tons will be used for a wall on the south side of the facility,” said Sukhee Kang, City of Irvine Mayor and Board member for the Great Park.

After speeches by Krom and Kang, they joined fellow Board members; Larry Agran, Jeff Lalloway and James “Walkie” Ray in signing the steel beam before it was hosted into place. The official and final steel beam was hoisted and bolted to the Visitor Center marking the progress made on the facility. The event serves as an important milestone in the construction of the Great Park’s new $22.8 million, 30-acre expansion project that launched last June.

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