Baptist Health Hardin and construction partners celebrate construction milestone
Baptist Health Hardin held a ceremonial beam signing and topping out ceremony.
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky., June 3, 2022 – This week, Baptist Health Hardin held a ceremonial beam signing and topping out ceremony to celebrate construction progress on the new Outpatient Medical Pavilion. The hospital-wide celebration marks the completion of the construction project’s steel framework.
“Over the last couple of months, we have seen significant changes at the construction site as the structure is now five stories high and a commanding presence along Patriot Parkway,” said Baptist Health Hardin President Dennis Johnson. “This celebration is not only for our team as they see progress with the construction, but also for the outstanding tradesmen and contractors making this project a reality.”
The final beam that will complete the steel structure was the centerpiece of a celebration on Tuesday. Hospital staff were invited to make their mark on the future of Baptist Health Hardin by signing the beam ahead of Wednesday’s topping out ceremony. Many staff signed, dated, left inspirational messages, and good wishes for the future. One person even listed all her family members born at the hospital and the years they were born. Nearly 500 signatures were collected from staff who stopped by on their way to or from work, or on their breaks.
The topping out ceremony is a long-held construction tradition originating in Scandinavia and marking the completion of the framing of a project. Traditionally, a tree was affixed to the top of the structure as a reference to the wood and natural resources used in construction. The ceremony was adopted by steelworkers when commercial buildings began to be primarily constructed with steel. Today, the ceremony is associated with safety and good luck for the project.
Congleton-Hacker Co., a general contracting firm based in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, is managing the $225 million construction project. Seth Burnett, vice president and construction manager at Congleton-Hacker, said the ceremony celebrates the efforts of the more than 350 tradesmen who will support the construction project.
“Every construction project is full of multiple moving parts, and the Outpatient Medical Pavilion is no exception,” Burnett said. “The building structure is now up, and an exterior ‘skin’ will be applied in the coming weeks as interior work begins.”
After a blessing and short program, senior leaders and construction partners donned hard hats and added the final signatures minutes before the beam was hoisted into its permanent position at the southwest corner of the new pavilion. Representatives from some of the partnering firms were in attendance. Project partners include Congleton-Hacker, architectural design firm HKS, Inc., Stengel Hill Architecture, engineering firm CMTA, Inc. and civil engineering firm Arnold Consulting Engineering Services, Inc.
The signed beam can be easily viewed from Patriot Parkway until the construction progresses to a point where it is encased in other materials.
The new 282,000-square-foot Outpatient Medical Pavilion, which will be approximately equivalent to 75% of the existing hospital in size, is set to open in 2024. The facility will house a new comprehensive cancer center with all patient services together for the first time; 12 new surgical suites, including a hybrid operating room; three additional cardiac catheterization labs; a multidisciplinary outpatient medical office building to accommodate new physicians and specialists; and patient-centric spaces designed to promote emotional and spiritual healing.
Most of Baptist Health Hardin’s existing medical offices, diagnostic centers and locations will remain as-is across the 10-county service area and a few, such as the existing cancer center, will be repurposed to house other specialties after the pavilion’s completion.