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Top-off complete, HarborCenter construction moving to next phase

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The construction of HarborCenter has reached another milestone on Wednesday. The twin-rink hockey complex rising on the downtown Buffalo waterfront has now been "topped off." 

Iron workers swung the final beam of the structural steel portion of HarborCenter into place just before noon Wednesday.

"It's a big, big deal. It's a big morale boost for the project. It signifies moving on to the next big phase of the job," says project superintendent Ryan Poropat.


Along with two NHL-size ice rinks, HarborCenter will include a 750-space parking ramp, restaurants, retail space and a 200-room hotel. Poropat says the next big phase includes installing the rest of the building's exterior panels.

HarborCenter President John Koelmel says the hundreds of construction workers involved are doing a great job maintaining the project's schedule.

"It just brings a smile to the face. It's exciting to see the workers here and the pride [they have]. It was great to see their phones come up as they're taking videos and pictures as the beam falls into place. It's an extra jolt for those of us who are going to be running this in less than four months," Koelmel said.

The first hockey game at HarborCenter is scheduled for October. The hotel is on track to open next year.  

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