ontact: Debra Thompson
Assoc. Director, PR & Communications
Rockingham Memorial Hospital celebrated the completion of the steel placement phase of construction on its new hospital with a “topping out” ceremony April 3.
“Topping out” is a ceremony in which the final steel beam is hoisted into place, signifying the completion of the building’s steel structure. In the high-steel trade, it announces that the construction has reached the sky without loss of life or serious injury.
“This is a big deal,” said Dennis Coffman, director, facilities planning and development. “The building is now as tall as it is going to be, and workers can begin to put on the roof and exterior. It’s an important day for everyone involved.”
Hundreds of RMH employees, volunteers, physicians, Board members and construction workers signed the “topping out” beam before it was raised and placed onto the structure. A crowd of nearly 50 onlookers, along with hundreds of construction workers, watched as the 8-foot beam, painted white and covered with signatures, was hoisted into place, adorned with a traditional evergreen tree and American flag.
“The topping out is an exciting moment in our hospital’s history and an important milestone in this construction project,” said RMH President and CEO Jim Krauss. “We now look forward to the next phase of construction as we move toward completion of the community’s new hospital.”
For construction workers, who broke ground in June 2006, it is also a momentous occasion and a celebration of nearly two years’ work with no lost-time injuries.
“We’re very pleased,” said George Moses, senior superintendent, Bovis Lend Lease, the project construction manager. “We’re very excited we’ve gone this far with no lost time accidents. The workers are pleased to be giving the community something that it needs.”