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Oklahoma City's Devon Energy Center is topped out at 50 stories

Hundreds of construction workers, joined by a Devon Energy executives, celebrated the topping out of the company's new 50-story headquarters in Oklahoma City on Wednesday with the traditional placement of an evergreen tree at its highest point.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: September 22, 2011

/articleid/3606364/1/pictures/1517276">Photo - An evergreen tree and American flag attached to a beam are raised to the top of the tower under construction at the Devon Energy Center during a toping-out ceremony in downtown Oklahoma City Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
An evergreen tree and American flag attached to a beam are raised to the top of the tower under construction at the Devon Energy Center during a toping-out ceremony in downtown Oklahoma City Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Those listening to Nichols included Colorado native Mark Maska, who, like about 25 percent of those on the job with Flintco/Holder Construction, were from out of state. Maska, a job superintendent on the adjoining Garden Wing of the Devon Energy Center, said the highest building he had worked on previously was six stories tall.

“It's been good,” Maska said. “The weather has been a bit tricky on some days. But the people are great, and Devon has been a great company to work for.”

John Wood, project coordinator with Hines, the building developer, said the work and safety record maintained by crews during the summer heat did not go unnoticed. He said Nichols himself inquired about the heat and workers' well-being as temperatures routinely climbed to around 110 degrees.

The tree, Wood said, represents the pride of the company and community in the work performed by the construction crews. Many of those working with the steel, concrete and glass will be replaced in the next few months by landscaping crews before the tower is fully occupied next summer.

“We're literally standing the shadow of this large structure,” Wood said. “It's easy to lose sight of the fact every part of that building, every piece of steel, every bit of concrete, every piece of glass, was put in by you all.”

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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