FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUSTA, GA. – Aug. 9, 2007 -- University Health Care System held a topping out ceremony today to commemorate the hanging of the final beams of steel on its new Cardiovascular Center.
“Today is an extremely important day in the near-200 year history of University Hospital,” said Kyle Howell, vice president for Support and Facilities Services at University Hospital. “Today we are placing the final pieces of steel on a new Cardiovascular Center that will have no comparison in the region. This is the new generation of cardiovascular care.”
University employees who took part in the center’s planning process signed the beam, which had been painted white for the ceremony. Mr. Howell then offered brief comments thanking employees for their support of the project, and their dedication to keeping patients’ best interest at the forefront during the planning process.
Hank Flowers, director of Pastoral Care for University, said a prayer for the continued safety of the workers throughout the course of the project.
A towering red crane then hoisted the beam high into the air, where ironworkers caught it and guided it into its place in the community’s history books.
The center, the final phase of a $93.6 million renovation and expansion project that began in 2003, is expected to open in the spring of 2009. The 200,000-square foot, facility, the only one of its kind in the region, will include:
- 72 University Patient Rooms that transform from acute-care units to homelike general medical rooms to care for patients at every level in their recovery so they don’t have to be moved. They will also integrate patient communication, education and entertainment through a flat-screen system designed for watching TV or viewing digital rest results with physicians. Family zones in each room will allow relatives to take part in the healing process.
- Patient beds that transform into rolling chairs
- State-of-the-art cardiovascular diagnostic and treatment options under one roof
- Expanded and renovated operating rooms that connect to the Coronary Intensive Care Unit
- Cutting-edge Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation facility
- Weight Management, Nutrition and Diabetes Services
- Physician offices
- Secured, dedicated parking lot with wheelchair assistance
The building will open with four floors, supported for the option of adding three additional floors.