MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital had a topping-out ceremony for its new hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
“I could not be more excited about today,” Albert Wright, the president and chief executive officer of WVU Medicine, said. “Today we did the topping off and put the last beam of steel on our new Children’s Hospital. This has been a project that I’ve been envisioning for the last five to six years and it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here today.”
Nearly 100 people gathered for the ceremony in the construction site, marking an end of the exterior phase and the beginning of building the interior portion of the building. Some even got the chance to sign the beam, meaning their signatures will forever be part of the building. There were doctors, nurses, hospital executives and plenty of others waiting in anticipation as the beam was raised and placed.
Their anticipation stems from the critical role the hospital will play once its complete in the summer of 2021. The $150 million building will stand at 9 stories high, right next to Ruby Memorial Hospital, be free-stranding, have 150 beds and offer many services. Those services include a pediatric care unit, neonatal intensive care unit and a pediatric cancer institute.
Amy Bush-Marone, the Chief Operating Officer of WVU Medicine Children’s, was in attendance and called the day a major milestone that she could not be any more excited about. One of the reasons Bush-Marone was happy is because the hospital will be providing much-needed treatment to mothers and children in West Virginia and the surrounding areas.
“We want to offer care that makes it so that families don’t have to travel because when loved ones are sick they need support around them and they need to be in as much of a home life environment as possible,” Marone said. “And so this new hospital will afford us that ability, so we’re couldn’t be any happier.”
Wright echoed Bush-Marone’s sentiment.
“There’s nothing worse than having a sick child,” Wright said. “We want to make sure that we’ve got the people, the programs, and now the physical plant to take exceptional care of the children of West Virginia and the surrounding regions.”
Although the ceremony was cut short by the rain, the crowd still managed to see the beam placed at the top of the structure and applaud the work. Wright said not even the rain could dampen his spirits because he was simply so excited.
The hospital needs to raise $60 million in its final fundraising campaign. Thus far, it has raised a little over $52 million and there is no doubt they can raise the rest, Marone said.
Those who are interested in donating to the fundraising campaign can do so through the hospital’s website. That is also where they can take a virtual tour and find out all the details about the services the new children’s hospital will offer.
“We’re so appreciative,” Marone said. “I tell people, we’re living today and we’re part of this legacy that will last for hundreds of years for the kids of this state. All sizes of donations are appreciated to support this new hospital.”