Onlookers cheered Dec. 4 as a crane placed the final steel beam needed to facilitate Methodist Richardson Medical Center’s $85 million vertical expansion.
Stakeholders, city officials and hospital staff members gathered to celebrate the major milestone in the hospital’s project, which began last January. Methodist Richardson President Ken Hutchenrider said placing of the ceremonial beam signified reaching the project’s halfway mark.
“We could not be more thrilled with how far we’ve come and where we are headed,” Hutchenrider said in a speech.
Construction of the seven-story, 671-space parking garage wrapped up ahead of schedule in the fall, allowing crews to begin work on adding a fifth and sixth floor to the hospital. With the 104,000-square-foot expansion comes 150 new patient beds, the hospital’s ninth operating room, seven additional preoperation rooms, post-anesthesia care space and additional kitchen space.
According to Hutchenrider, the timeline for the expansion hastened after explosive growth in the region heightened demand for health care. Mayor Paul Voelker, who spoke at the topping-out ceremony, said for a city of just over 100,000 people, Richardson’s hospital amenities are critical for the wellbeing of its citizenry.
“One of the strongest legs we have as a city is our health care,” he said. “Whether you’re giving birth to a child or dealing with a loved one with health problems, it’s about all of our residents and making sure we take care of them.”
Construction on the project is slated for completion at the end of 2019.