Upstate News

April 21, 2008
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Final beams put into place on Golisano Children’s Hospital and vertical expansion

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — One of the final steel beams for the Golisano Children’s Hospital and University Hospital’s Vertical Expansion project was put into place April 21 with all the fanfare of a traditional topping off ceremony.

The ceremony marks the completion of the exterior construction for the $147 million project. All work now will be focused on the project’s interior. The expansion is expected to open mid-year 2009.

The six-story addition includes patient care floors for cardiovascular, neurology and oncology services. The Golisano Children’s Hospital will occupy to the top two floors, with a separate entrance leading to the signature ?tree house’ lobby.

Mary Ann Shaw, who served as campaign chair for the Golisano Children’s Hospital, said the ceremony was another significant milestone in the effort to bring a children’s hospital to Central New York. Shaw thanked the thousands of businesses—big and small—schoolchildren, foundations and individuals who helped build the children’s hospital by contributing more than $21 million.

A topping off ceremony is a tradition at major construction sites. The tradition dates back to 700 A.D., when it was introduced by the Scandinavians as a way of bestowing good luck on a building’s soon-to-be occupants. A final beam, usually decorated with a fir tree and a flag, is hoisted into place during the ceremony.

A community fundraising campaign to help build the Golisano Children’s Hospital raised more than $21 million dollars, including a $6 million contribution from B. Thomas Golisano of Pittsford, N.Y. Bristol-Myers Squibb provided the campaign’s largest corporate gift, a $1 million donation to name the children’s hospital’s unique tree house lobby.

Pike Construction is the construction manager; architects are Karlsberger and King and King of Manlius.

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