New Southwest Health medical office building dedicated

New building at hospital campus will hold doctor offices and retail pharmacy

The beam with employee signatures is put in place for the construction topping-off ceremony at Southwest Memorial Hospital. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/The Journal

The beam with employee signatures is put in place for the construction topping-off ceremony at Southwest Memorial Hospital.

The new medical office building under construction at the Southwest Memorial Hospital campus was dedicated Tuesday in a “topping-out ceremony” attended by about 30 hospital staff, board members and construction workers.

The metal framework for a new medical office building at the hospital is now complete. Members of the hospital board of directors and Nunn Construction, which is in charge of the project, put their signatures on the final beam, which was placed on top of the building during the ceremony. Project managers estimated the building would be finished in about a year, when it will house more than 20 doctors and a retail pharmacy.

Hospital CEO Kent Rogers spoke before the ceremony, thanking the construction crew and the board for their ongoing work on the project, and asked the hospital staff to keep safety in mind during the coming months.

“They’re going to turn over a really high-quality building for us,” he said. “But between now and then, there’s some dangerous work that’s going to occur. ... We don’t want to generate more business out of this project.”

The office building is part of a $32 million expansion of the hospital scheduled to be completed in 2018. According to news releases from marketing and public relations director Haley Leonard Saunders, the first part of the project, a new emergency services building, received its final plumbing inspection and ceiling tile the week before. Saunders wrote that the building’s final inspections will be performed in the next two weeks.

Nunn Construction is also at work on a new patient wing, where fireproofing and the pavement of a new parking lot are in progress.

Although the medical office building will likely be one of the last parts of the expansion to be finished, its basic structure is now in place. The next steps in construction include pouring concrete for a courtyard and adding a roof deck, according to Saunders.

Assistant project manager Chris Schnurr thanked the hospital staff for their cooperation, architect Davis Partnership for designing the expansion and the roughly 15 subcontractors at work on the building for their help.

“These are very large, complex projects that take a lot of communication and teamwork to complete,” he said.

The final beam in the office building was lowered into place by harnessed construction workers who stood on other narrow beams at the top of the two-story structure, earning loud applause from spectators. The ceremony ended with cake and refreshments under a tent on the construction site.

The medical office building will house doctors from the Southwest Medical Group, who currently operate out of clinics all over the county. Both the group and Southwest Memorial Hospital are parts of Southwest Health System.

Karen Perry serves up a cake for the topping-off ceremony Tuesday at the Southwest Memorial Hospital construction site. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/The Journal

Karen Perry serves up a cake for the topping-off ceremony Tuesday at the Southwest Memorial Hospital construction site.

A crowd gathers to watch the topping-off ceremony at the Southwest Memorial Hospital construction site. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/The Journal

A crowd gathers to watch the topping-off ceremony at the Southwest Memorial Hospital construction site.