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03 August: Traditional topping out event marks milestone for new Indian Ocean marine research centre

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04 August 2015

More than fifty guests and building contractors attended a ‘topping out’ ceremony for the new $60.6 million Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Crawley campus on July 31, 2015.

The University, in collaboration with its partners in the Centre, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and CSIRO came together with site contractor BGC Construction, to celebrate this milestone.

UWA Chief Operating Officer, Gaye McMath led the ‘topping out' ceremony with a final trowel off, symbolising the completion of the last concrete beam installed.

A bouquet of greenery from a selection of plants from across UWA’s campus was also hung from the top of the building, representing a tradition that dates back to ancient Scandinavian times whereby an evergreen tree was placed upon the structure to symbolise growth and bring luck.

“Our excitement for this project is heightened today, as we celebrate the topping out ceremony, and we are grateful for the success of the project to date,” Gaye McMath said.

“The collaboration of partners will lead to expanded research opportunities, and will continue to build Australia’s international marine research status.”

Once completed, the new building will bring together over 330 world-leading researchers working across a broad range of subjects, extending from oceanography to marine ecology, to fisheries, geochemistry, governance, marine technologies and engineering.

Located on the western side of UWA’s Crawley campus, the six storey building, designed by Ferguson Architects, takes into consideration sustainable design principles.

The new facility is being made possible by a $34 million grant from the Australian Government and contributions from the collaborating organisations.

The IOMRC building has been under construction since March 2014 and is anticipated to be completed in mid-2016.