By BRENDA J. LINERT
AUSTINTOWN - Dozens of members of Youngstown Local 207 Ironworkers, construction manager Turner Construction, other construction workers and some elected officials in Austintown turned out Tuesday morning to sign the final beam at the new Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.
The beam then was hoisted by crane and set atop the steel structure that will house 1,000 video lottery terminals and indoor viewing of the thoroughbred racetrack when it opens here next year.
Known as a "topping out" ceremony, the event is an ironworker tradition used to mark completion of the structural steel phase of large projects. For certain, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course fits that description.
Ground was broken for the $136 million project in May. Once complete, it is expected to create 1,000 new direct and indirect jobs, along with the 1,000 or so construction jobs.
Ironworkers John Gallagher, left, and Jason Ketterman, both of Ironworkers Local 207 Youngstown, guide the final steel beam signed by many of the workers and local officials as it is hoisted into place. The event was part of the traditional “topping out” ceremony at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course Tuesday.
Photo by R. Michael Semple
The facility's soon-to-be new general manager, Michael Galle, made the trip to Austintown for the ceremony Tuesday, traveling from Toledo, where he serves as Assistant General Manager of a Penn National facility.
Galle said construction is right on target for a planned fall 2014 opening.
Galle is expected to transfer in January to his new position at the Austintown racino located at state Route 46 just south of the Interstate 80 interchange.
Racino at a glance
Tuesday's ceremony marked the completion of the structural steel phase of the racino building.
Included in the facility are:
Gaming area with 1,000 video lottery terminals;
Sports bar / entertainment lounge;
1,001 enclosed track-view seats; and
Source: Penn National Gaming