Lakeside Village reaches the top

The final concrete slabs for the 25 interconnected buildings of the newly named Lakeside Village are complete, marking a key milestone in the construction.
Gary Tarbe at topping off ceremony

Gary Tarbe, senior project manager for Facilities Operations and Planning, speaks at the topping off ceremony Wednesday, April 24. 

Once known as the Student Housing Village, the first phase of the University of Miami’s Housing Facilities Strategic Plan has a new name, Lakeside Village, to signify its location along the southern shoreline of Lake Osceola.

But in addition to a new name, the project also reached an important milestone this week.

Carpenters, painters, tile setters, plumbers, and installers all gathered at the construction site on Wednesday to celebrate a key step in any construction project: pouring the final concrete slab for the roof. In addition to the nearly 400 workers who have put in more than 760,000 working hours since construction began, invited guests—including Sebastian the Ibis—attended what is known to the industry as a topping-off celebration to recognize and appreciate the hard work of the construction crew, who are working to complete the project by summer 2020.

Topping Off Ceremony
A tree is placed on the roof of Lakeside Village to symbolize the project has been "topped off."

“Once the workers see the traditional tree as well as the American and UM flags placed at the project’s highest point, they are re-energized and re-motivated to continue their work,” said Gary Tarbe, senior project manager. “This milestone also signifies to the campus community that the shell of the building is just about done, so they can get a sense for the footprint of the village once it is complete.”

In addition to the final concrete slabs being poured, crews are also beginning to install the three different finishes to the building’s exterior. Each of the 25 interconnected buildings will be skinned in either wood-grain panels, bronze panels, or painted stucco—providing a unique feel to the complex.

“The design of this building is stunning,” said Jim Smart, executive director for housing and residential life. “But in addition to its iconic design, care is also being taken to ensure that the building will meet or even exceed the needs and expectations of students for generations to come.”

Work is also taking shape inside as permanent power is being routed into the project site. Crews are installing kitchen cabinets in many of the 450 suites and apartments that will soon house the 1,115 students who will live there. Many of the community spaces including the multi-use pavilion, 200-seat auditorium and music practice rooms are also taking shape. Additionally, progress is continuing on the locations for a mail and package service as well as retail dining establishments.

“It is exciting and invigorating to watch the project go up,” Smart added. “Not only can I see daily progress being made right from my office in Eaton, but each time we visit the site there is something new being built or installed that we haven’t seen before. This is an exciting time.”

As the project enters its final 12 months of construction, interior finishing work will continue throughout the village and outdoor landscaping and hardscapes will begin to take shape. Crews will also begin to install the environmentally friendly green roof spaces as the exterior of the structure is complete.

Learn more about Lakeside Village as well as future phases of the University’s Housing Facilities Strategic Plan at