“Topping-Out” Ceremony Signals Milestone for DHMC Expansion Project
Construction crews working on Dartmouth-Hitchcock MedicalCenter’s expansion “topped out” the steel framework for the last of theproject’s new structures on Friday, June 27, 2003. As is traditional, theplacing of the last piece of steel was marked with the installation of atree atop the building.This was the 4th and last topping-out ceremony in the “Project forProgress” and celebrated the completion of the steel framework forBuilding 2, the new Diagnostic and Treatment Center. The DHMC expansion,which will add 470,000 square feet to the existing medical center, is thelargest construction project underway in the state of New Hampshire. Atits completion, more than 800 workers, employed by 120 contractors andsubcontractors, will have been employed on the project.Friday’s ceremony was particularly significant because it marked thecompletion of more than 600,000 work-hours expended by crews on theproject, all without major injury. (Only two lost-time injuries have beensustained in the course of construction, neither of them serious.) Inhanding out safety awards at the topping-out event, Grant Guerri, SeniorProject Manager for McCarthy Building Companies, complimented the workcrews, noting that, “More than 3,000 tons of steel have been erected, allwithout a significant injury. This is a huge accomplishment.”The topping out ceremony was followed with an ice cream social, hosted byMcCarthy Construction for all construction workers and DHMC staff members.As of the end of June, the project is proceeding smoothly and, despite twoweeks lost to severe winter weather, is on track to meet its January 2006completion date. All the steel work, much of the major mechanical andelectrical work, and almost all of the site work has now been done. A new540-car parking garage and the vertical expansion of the Norris CottonCancer Center are virtually complete, although occupancy of thosestructures is still some months away. A new DHART hangar has been builtand is now in service, and 950 employees have been using the new Lot 20surface parking lot since October 2002. A new vehicle Maintenance Garage,located in Lot 20, has been in use since November 2002.