As the La Porte community looks eagerly to a bright future, La Porte Hospital colleagues, construction workers, community members, and physicians did the same on Thursday while celebrating the “Topping Out” ceremony of the new La Porte Hospital slated to open in 2020.
A construction beam signed by hospital colleagues and community members throughout the week was lowered into its resting spot at the top of the hospital among cheers and applause, commemorating a significant moment of growth, pride, and happiness for all involved.
The construction site swarmed with community members waiting to capture a glimpse of the final beam being placed into the frame.
Craig Menne, chairperson of the La Porte Hospital Board of Trustees and president of General Insurance Services, offered a personal perspective on what the new hospital will mean for the community.
“My wife and I were talking a couple of months ago--we have three daughters,” Menne said. “The three best days of our lives were the birth of our three daughters. Those days all took place at this facility,” Menne said, pointing to the current La Porte Hospital that opened in the 1970s. “For those of you building the new hospital, I want you to understand the happiest days of peoples’ lives for generations to come, are going to take place in this building. I want to remind you of the importance of what you are doing for the City of La Porte.”
Ashley Dickinson, CEO of La Porte Hospital, offered thanks and spoke to the impeccable work of the crews so far.
“We are here to honor each member of the construction team and express gratitude for your excellent work because it has brought us to this milestone,” Dickinson said. “A special thanks to General Contractor Robins & Morton, and our iron workers. You have placed over 3million pounds of steel in this facility with no injuries. That is incredible.”
She explained that before the project started, the team had discussed how important La Porte Hospital has been to the community for nearly 50 years.
“Leadership and expertise have been at the forefront of this project. We are so excited to be on schedule to open in the 4th quarter of 2020, despite the many rainy days we had in early spring and summer,” Dickinson said.
She and Menne both thanked hospital colleagues, physicians, leaders, and construction crews for their diligence in moving the project forward so far.
Josh Young, site superintendent for the project and for general contractor Robins & Morton, expressed thanks for the community’s kindness.
“I want to thank the hospital’s executive staff, the City of La Porte and officials, the engineering department, the water and sewer department -- basically everyone who works with the City of La Porte. We really work with such a caring group of individuals here,” Young said.
“The most important thing is that we’ve arrived at this point with no injuries to the team,” Young said. “That's an incredible milestone and accomplishment for the men and women who have been out here for the last year.”
An evergreen tree was mounted to the top of the final beam alongside an American flag. It symbolized that the building was constructed without a loss of a life. It also acts as a source of good luck for future occupants.
“The topping out ceremony has become a cherished tradition among our workers,” Young said. “Whenever a skeleton of a building or bridge is complete, the structure has reached its final height.”
Bert Cook, Executive Director of the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership shared his feelings about the progression of development in the City of La Porte.
“When you see something come up from the ground, it’sexciting. Not just for me, but the community as a whole. It’s created a sense of optimism to see that growth, and the commitment to this community.”
He emphasized that partnerships must exist within the City of La Porte for projects like this to be successful.
For more information, visit La Porte Hospital online, and stay up to date with the progress of construction.
La Porte Hospital thanked the architect, contractors and Local Iron Workers.
Robins & Morton, Larson-Danielson Construction, Wilson Iron Works, Hyre Electric, Circle ‘R’ Mechanical Inc., Cisco, Dyer Construction, Iron Workers Local 292, Laborers International Union of North America Laborers’ 81, Local 1485 and Gresham Smith & Partners architect.