February 9, 2011

UW Medical Center ‘tops out new inpatient tower (with slide show, video)

On Feb. 7, workers from Skanska USA Building and the University of Washington Medical Center celebrated a major construction milestone as a new inpatient tower “topped out.”

At a special ceremony, the UW Medical Center Board of Directors, UW Capital Projects, general contractor Skanska USA Building, architect NBBJ and community members signed a ceremonial beam that was hoisted to the top of the tower as the final piece to the buildings superstructure.

Watch the final beam hoisted into place on UWMCs inpatient tower.

The tower, scheduled for completion in 2012, will include a larger neo-natal intensive care unit that will care for up to 50 newborns and a 30-bed unit for bone marrow transplants and oncology.

“We are pleased today to celebrate this construction milestone, as it brings our patients and health-care team that much closer to enhanced and improved facilities,” said UWMC Executive Director Stephen Zieniewicz. “When the project is complete, we will have additional capacity to meet the growing need for our patient-care programs.”

The UW Medical Centers 253,587-square-foot expansion began in 2009. The tower will house the most advanced diagnostic imaging technology, including additional magnetic resonance imaging machines, computed tomography scanners and new interventional radiology rooms. The new state-of-the-art technology will allow the Medical Center to expand its services while continuing to give the best care to its patients.

“As a former NICU mom and current patient adviser for the NICU council at UW Medical Center, the expansion is a big deal for patients,” said Jennifer Glick, who spoke at the ceremony. Her son spent five months in the NICU in 2004. “Its great to see a world-class health care team receive a world-class space in which to work. The improvements in the environment of care and the focus on the developmental needs of the babies will be appreciated by all.”

Skanska USA joined the UW Medical Center in celebrating this great project milestone and looks ahead to what must still be done.

“For our workers, today is a day to celebrate not only the milestone, but the work that we do every day to work safely,” said Skanska Project Executive Rob Robinson. “Well continue to focus on delivering a top-notch hospital for UW Medical Center and doing so by making sure every worker goes home safely every night.”

Skanska signed the expansion agreement for $114.8 million in 2009.