Ironworkers raise the final beam into place for Chester County Hospital’s 250,000 square-foot expansion. ( PETE BANNAN – DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA )
WEST GOSHEN >> Chester County Hospital celebrated another milestone Tuesday morning in their 250,000-square-foot expansion; the topping out of the final steel beam was placed in a ceremony attended by hospital staff and board members and construction crews.
The project is the largest expansion effort in the hospital’s 125-year history and also includes a 25,000-square-foot renovation to existing structures.
Chester County Hospital President and CEO Michael Duncan said the project began over seven years ago as the board of directors recognized the need for growth and with that growth, larger financial reserves. That growth brought the hospital into their partnership with Penn Medicine in 2013.
“We’ve had a heck of a growth spirt since Penn joined us,” Duncan said during the brief ceremony. “We were looking for their cash and our culture.”
That culture is embraced through the hospitals’ five “ICare” culture values; Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence” which was printed on the beam.
Duncan said the hospital is expecting to move into the new facilities in 18 months.
Duncan pointed out the expansion will include 15 operating room suites, three state-of-the-art labs for Catheterization and Electrophysiology, a rooftop helipad and a new Emergency Department with 10 additional rooms as well as a 99-bed patient tower, a new entrance, as well as a bigger gift shop for Brenda, referring to Gift Shop manager Brenda Fairchild.
William Wylie, Chairman of the Board of Directors, thanked the staff, volunteers and benefactors.
Before the beam was put into place, it was signed by hospital employees, board members and construction crews. Then the eight-foot beam was lifted into the sky by the tower crane that has been looming over the project for months. L.F. Driscoll construction ironworkers Dave Parton and Shaun Glass guided the beam into its final position at the right-hand corner, just across from the new parking garage which was opened in 2016.
Attached to the beam was an American flag and a evergreen tree.
“The evergreen is a tradition,” said L.F. Driscoll Project Director Marie Barajas. “I’ve heard two view of the origins of the tree. One is that it is a Viking tradition, the other was that Indians believed nothing should be higher than a tree. The evergreen was to appease the forest spirits, I like that one.”
The building was designed by Ballinger architecture using the Mediterranean heritage of the hospital’s original 1920s-era building. New glass elements and courtyards will compliment the white stucco and tile roofs of the existing buildings.
See story on dailylocal.com