By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A milestone was reached today in the construction of a $100-million student apartment complex at 11th and Montgomery, on the campus of Temple University.

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Today’s “topping off” ceremony marks completion of the structural phase of construction, and it’s something the workers have been looking forward to since they started on the job about six months ago.

(Credit:  John McDevitt)

(Credit: John McDevitt)


Steelworkers autographed the final beam on the ground, and then, with an evergreen tree and an American flag attached, it was hoisted to the top of the 14-story, multi-use apartment complex.

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“That’s just a tradition with iron workers,” explained Eddie Allen, with Ironworkers’ Local 401.   “It’s been going back a long, long time.  I believe the Christmas tree goes back to the… I believe the Vikings did that back in the day, medieval times, and that’s suppose to mean health and prosperity.  And the American flag speaks for itself.   It’s just a tradition for a job well done and a lot of hard work and sweat.”

There will be 11,000 square feet on the first floor dedicated to shops and restaurants.

There is still a lot more work to do.  The complex, which will house 832 Temple students, won’t be ready until fall of 2014.

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