Supporters of Belton schools gathered in force Friday for the topping out ceremony at the new Lake Belton High School.

When it opens in fall 2020, Lake Belton will be the second comprehensive high school in the Belton Independent School District. The extensive campus is under construction on FM 2483 near State Highway 317 in West Temple.

District officials joined the construction crew for a barbecue lunch, and then watched the final steel beam be raised into place on the school’s entryway.

Project manager Marc Hibner said the topping out represents a significant milestone in construction of the new school.

“This represents a big shift in our focus from working on a foundation and trying to get a structure up and off the ground,” Hibner said. “Now we start to shift our focus to getting the exterior walls, the roof put in.”

Hibner noted that he is a graduate of Belton High School, like many of those present.

“Everything you see here today is the result of hundreds of workers putting forth their time and their energy to build this building,” Hibner said.

Hibner said that in the 11 months since Belton ISD broke ground on the new high school more than 900 workers have contributed to the construction.

Superintendent Susan Kincannon also emphasized the symbolic significance of the event.

“This kind of event is an age-old tradition,” Kincannon said. “Today’s placement of the last beam … is a milestone that will forever be a part of our history.”

Board President Sue Jordan thanked all those who contributed to the project.

“I’m very proud of the way the board and the Belton ISD administration continue to plan for growth,” Jordan said.

The new high school is the largest project funded by the $149.7 million bond issue that voters approved two years ago.

“Thank you for your support for the May 2017 bond project, and thank you for your continued support for our kids,” Jordan said.

At the end of her remarks, Jordan noted that the topping out luncheon was held in the school’s future gym, home of the Lake Belton Broncos and many athletic activities to come.

To inaugurate that future, she asked the crowd to stand, and led them in a rousing cheer:

“Go Broncos! Go Broncos!”