Penguins owner/chairman Mario Lemieux
strode across wooden boards place over a dirt surface – a dirt surface that in a year will be transformed into the team's new ice surface – in the Consol Energy Center.
The Hall of Fame center, sporting a suit and hardhat with the Penguins emblem, stopped by a gold steel beam that featured the signatures of every Penguins employee and Mellon Arena worker. Lemieux, armed with a black sharpie, added the final signature. The arena construction workers raised the beam high into the roof and secured it into position.
Then it was time for the final "steel" piece of the puzzle in a ceremonial "topping off" of the city's brand-new state-of-the-art facility. Another beam – this one with the signatures of all the construction workers – was raised and put into place in the roof. This steel beam represented final piece of structural steel to be placed into the new arena.
"It's been a long 10 years to get to where we are today but this is special for all of us," Lemieux said. "The workers here have done a tremendous job in putting up this building. It's very exciting to see the progress made over the last year."
"Today is really a day to salute and say thanks to the people who have actually worked on this job for the last year, and will be working going forward," Penguins CEO Ken Sawyer said. "On behalf of the Penguins, thanks to all of you here. I can't believe the progress on this site. We're very, very excited for this to open a year from now."
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