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What you may have missed: Summer ecap

While students were enjoying a well-deserved break from coursework, the summer season was anything but a slow one for Michigan Tech and the surrounding community.

A newer landmark on campus is the patch of dirt which is to become the new and much-anticipated H-STEM building. Despite its rather humble beginnings as an open pit between Chem Sci and the EERC, the location will soon be home to a complex dedicated to health-related education research. Demolition of parts of the interior of the Chem Sci building began on Sept. 6 and will continue into the foreseeable future. Senator Ed McBroom, speaking last spring, praised the project as “aggressive” and “forward-thinking.”

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge celebrated its sixty-third year of service during a special iteration of the annual Bridgefest parade. As part of the festivities, the American Society of Civil Engineers dedicated the bridge as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, citing the bridge’s revolutionary double-deck lifting span and contribution to the craft in the twentieth century and beyond. Familiar to any student who commutes from Hancock or the general vicinity, and an iconic part of the Houghton-Hancock skyline, the bridge was and remains an iconic marvel of engineering. 

Another new arrival to the area during the summer was the Viking expedition ship Octantis, which made several excursions into Portage Lake as part of its transit of Lake Superior. Built in 2021 and designed to brave polar waters, the ship was nonetheless unable to traverse the Portage due to “inclement weather” during its first few circuits. Barring future cancellations as a result of the Upper Peninsula’s charming weather, the 666-foot (203-meter) Octantis is expected to visit again on the 21. The cruise ship will share the waterway with a noticeably increased number of seaplanes, coinciding with the relocation of the Isle Royale Seaplane Base.

Another catalyst of change in the local scenery was the fire at the Lambda Chi Alpha (ΛΧΑ) Fraternity house (the “Big Pink”), which occurred in the early morning on June 3. The cause was determined to be an electrical issue on the third floor of the historic building. A fundraiser started for the benefit of the fourteen fraternity brothers that were displaced by the fire has gathered more than $28,000 as of the time of publication.

Workers at the H-STEM construction site on Friday, Photograph by Tim Peters

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