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BIRMINGHAM (Mar. 24, 2011) - Birmingham civic leaders joined employees, trustees and patient families of the Children's Hospital of Alabama today in celebrating a milestone in the construction of the hospital's 740,000-square-feet expansion facility. A "topping out" party was held to recognize the completion of all exterior work on the new building that is slated to open summer, 2012.
A highlight of the event was the raising of a final beam to the roof of the building. The beam carries the signatures of Children's employees, patients and families and was flying a flag featuring the hospital's familiar red ball logo.
Mock-ups of the interior wall décor were unveiled. A sports theme has been designed for the Monday Morning Quarterback Club Tower while a whimsical animal theme will be featured in the Harbert Tower. Also on display was a model of the monument sign that will be placed in front of the new facility marking the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children Campus.
Guests were treated to a "topping" station where they enjoyed a grits bar with a variety of toppings.
"The completion of the exterior of our expansion represents a tremendous milestone in the growth of Children's and comes just as we are set to celebrate our centennial in June," said CEO Mike Warren. "Right now, it's like a beehive of activity where all the work will be going on inside. In just a few short months, though, we'll be opening the doors to this magnificent facility that will provide care for the children of Alabama and surrounding states far into our second 100 years."
The Children's expansion is the largest health care construction project in Alabama state history and is on track to become the state's first LEED-certified health care facility. It is 12 stories high and connects with its surrounding structures via elevated enclosed walkways. The exterior features a glass curtain wall and a precast concrete "skin." The structural skeleton is also concrete. Most of the building materials are made within 200 miles of Birmingham.
The Children's Hospital of Alabama is the 10th busiest pediatric medical center in the United States. Located in Birmingham, Children's is one of only about 45 freestanding acute care hospitals of its kind in the nation and the only hospital in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is licensed for 275 beds. Children's is a private, not-for-profit hospital governed by a volunteer board of trustees. The hospital was recently recognized for the excellence of its nursing care by achieving Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Children's is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. For more information, visit www.chsys.org.
Contact: Kathy Bowers, 205/939-9002 (firstname.lastname@example.org)