BENTONVILLE -- The public library expansion will reach another milestone Friday.
A topping-out ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. A topping out is a long-standing tradition in the construction industry typically held when the final beam is installed at the highest point of a building. It is a symbolic gesture that signifies the completion of the building's framework, according to a library news release.
The celebration will feature remarks from local officials and library representatives. Attendees will also have the opportunity to sign the final beam before it is hoisted into place.
"We are thrilled to be reaching this important milestone in constructing the new library," said Hadi Dudley, library director. "This new expansion will be a cornerstone of our community, and BPL is excited to celebrate with our patrons and supporters."
The event is open to the public and will take place rain or shine. If there is heavy rain or thunderstorms, the celebration will be moved inside the library. Light refreshments will be served.
Plans call for a 22,975-square-foot addition to the library's 38,500 square feet. The library at 405 S. Main St. opened Oct. 30, 2006.
Flintco, the construction manager, estimates the addition will be completed next summer. Work is underway to the north of the building. Portions of the library will undergo renovation afterward.
The Bentonville Library Foundation has kicked off phase two of its capital campaign to expand the library. The campaign target of $16.75 million is nearly fulfilled with $831,985 left to close the funding gap, said Samantha Sacry, the library's marketing specialist.
The first phase reached 95% of its committed funding, according to a news release from the foundation and library that announced the second round of fundraising, which seeks money for the library's furniture, fixtures and equipment.
The foundation in May 2021 agreed to raise $10.5 million for the expansion. Those fundraising efforts have secured more than $10.78 million, which will join the city's 2021 bond money of $4.5 million and $617,000 from the city toward the $16.75 million project.