Workers signed a Carolina blue beam and then hoisted it on top of the new UNC hospital south of Hillsborough on Thursday as part of a topping out ceremony marking the completion of the building’s frame.
A small Leland cypress and an American flag were lifted along with the last beam to the top of the 256,000-square-foot hospital.
The two-story hospital will provide full-service medical and emergency care for northern Orange County and central North Carolina by 2015. It will have 50 acute care beds, an 18-bed intensive care unit, six operating rooms, two procedure rooms, an emergency department, and outpatient medical and surgical services.
The Hillsborough Town Board approved the $200 million-plus campus in 2010. It is just off Interstate 40 and Old N.C. 86.
Steve Stouthamer, executive vice president and general manager for the Skanska development group, said up to 300 crew members have worked on the project, installing 1,500 tons of structural steel, spreading 800 truckloads of concrete and moving 25,000 dirt-filled trucks.
And there is room for an expansion.
“We view this as a long-term investment, and we are very much looking forward to building here and growing here over years and decades to come,” said Brian Goldstein, executive vice president and chief operating officer at UNC Hospitals. “Look forward to a first-class office building and then a first-class hospital, backed by a first-class academic medical center with cutting-edge research and one of the best medical schools in the country.”
For now, the Hillsborough campus will relieve the busy Chapel Hill medical center and help UNC officials maximize efficiency, he said.
Staff writer Tammy Grubb