A topping off ceremony marked the end of steel frame construction for the new West Tower at Sentara Leigh Hospital and the beginning of closing in the building.

Milestone reached in reconstruction of Sentara Leigh Hospital

‘Topping off’ of West Tower marks end of steel work, beginning of finish work

Slh

A topping off ceremony marked the end of steel frame construction for the new West Tower at Sentara Leigh Hospital and the beginning of closing in the building. A topping off ceremony involves team members signing a white-painted steel beam that is then hoisted by crane to the top of the structure and placed for posterity. The beam also had an evergreen tree attached, which is a tradition among steelworkers.

The West Tower will be a mirror image of the East Tower, which opened to patients in November of 2013. The East Tower is the site of the world’s largest clinical trial on whether copper-infused hard surfaces and linens will help prevent hospital-acquired infections. The West Tower will also be outfitted with copper materials when it opens in 2015.

Sentara Leigh Hospital West Tower

Sentara Leigh Hospital is in the midst of a four-year on-site demolition and replacement project involving two five-story patient towers, an atrium entrance, a staff parking deck and new areas for outpatient care, education and meetings, all of which is scheduled for completion in 2016.

The project has been an engineering challenge, due to the need to demolish segments of the 1977 structure in order to build the new facilities almost within the same footprint and just a few feet from active patient rooms.