"Topping-Out" Ceremony Signals Milestone for DHMC Expansion Project

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"Topping-Out" Ceremony Signals Milestone for DHMC Expansion Project

Sun, 06/29/2003 - 8:00pm -- tim

Construction crews working on Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical
Center's expansion "topped out" the steel framework for the last of the
project's new structures on Friday, June 27, 2003. As is traditional, the
placing of the last piece of steel was marked with the installation of a
tree atop the building.
This was the 4th and last topping-out ceremony in the "Project for
Progress" and celebrated the completion of the steel framework for
Building 2, the new Diagnostic and Treatment Center. The DHMC expansion,
which will add 470,000 square feet to the existing medical center, is the
largest construction project underway in the state of New Hampshire. At
its completion, more than 800 workers, employed by 120 contractors and
subcontractors, will have been employed on the project.
Friday's ceremony was particularly significant because it marked the
completion of more than 600,000 work-hours expended by crews on the
project, all without major injury. (Only two lost-time injuries have been
sustained in the course of construction, neither of them serious.) In
handing out safety awards at the topping-out event, Grant Guerri, Senior
Project Manager for McCarthy Building Companies, complimented the work
crews, noting that, "More than 3,000 tons of steel have been erected, all
without a significant injury. This is a huge accomplishment."
The topping out ceremony was followed with an ice cream social, hosted by
McCarthy Construction for all construction workers and DHMC staff members.
As of the end of June, the project is proceeding smoothly and, despite two
weeks lost to severe winter weather, is on track to meet its January 2006
completion date. All the steel work, much of the major mechanical and
electrical work, and almost all of the site work has now been done. A new
540-car parking garage and the vertical expansion of the Norris Cotton
Cancer Center are virtually complete, although occupancy of those
structures is still some months away. A new DHART hangar has been built
and is now in service, and 950 employees have been using the new Lot 20
surface parking lot since October 2002. A new vehicle Maintenance Garage,
located in Lot 20, has been in use since November 2002.