A years-old tradition was carried out at ETMC Tyler on January 13, with a topping-out ceremony at the construction site for the two new stories being added to the north tower of the hospital.
“A tree will be placed temporarily on top of the structure,” according to Robert Layton, ETMC plant services vice president. “This gesture symbolizes the completion of the structural elements of construction and paves the way for the finishing elements of the project. A topping-out ceremony dates to years past, when buildings were framed with lumber. Once the wooden structural components were finished, construction crews waited until the green lumber cured before proceeding with the project.”
Steel beams, instead of wood, are now used to frame projects such as the one at ETMC Tyler. But it is a time-honored tradition, and symbolizes the completion of one stage of construction and the beginning of the finishing stages.
ETMC Tyler will add 72 new rooms with one unit designated primarily for cancer patients, and the other designated for cardiac care and other medical specialties. The $21 million expansion project is estimated to be completed in January 2010. ETMC Tyler will have a total of 536 beds when construction is complete.
Originally posted January 13 2009