TORRANCE, CA (February 24, 2012) - To commemorate the midway point in construction of Torrance Memorial Medical Center's new $450 million patient tower, hospital patrons and staff
gathered yesterday afternoon to celebrate placement of the final piece of structural steel on the 398,350-square-foot facility with a Topping Out ceremony.
More than 75 guests, including major donors, trustees, Foundation board of directors, medical staff and construction representatives were invited to sign the ceremonial steel beam, adorned with an American flag and evergreen tree. The beam was then lifted 270-feet to the top of the structure.
"This day marks a tremendous milestone in our community's healthcare history and future," said Craig Leach, president and CEO of Torrance Memorial Medical Center. "It has taken a community to raise this tower and we want to express our tremendous gratitude for their continued contributions of time and money in its shaping. The tower's leading edge design will help us facilitate the standard of care our growing community needs and deserves well into the future."
The evergreen tree symbolizes growth, life and good luck and the flag is a patriotic symbol that signifies that united effort of the project team. The general contractor, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. began construction in February 2010 and is currently nine days ahead of schedule. During the steel erection phase, iron workers from Herrick Steel placed 5,820 pieces of structural steel within three months in order to build the frame for the new tower which is scheduled for completion in November 2014 and opening in spring 2015.
Torrance Memorial has raised more than $119 million, more than half of its fundraising goal of $200 million, to build the new tower. Major contributors (million +) to the campaign include: Melanie and Richard Lundquist, Priscilla and Donald Hunt, Vasek Polak Foundation, Karl and Carol McMillen, George and Reva Graziadio Family Foundation, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Ralph and Loraine Scriba, Bill and Joelene Mertz, Torrance Memorial Auxiliary, Dr. Alfred and Rozelyn Redisch, Mrs. Edith Wallace, The Delpit Family and Phyllis and René Scribe.
The new patient tower, which will replace Torrance Memorial's original tower built in 1971, will feature the latest medical technologies, more beds and space and a modern design. The seven-level patient tower will house 256 private rooms, 18 surgical and interventional treatment rooms as well as a basement with a central utility plant and a tunnel connecting the existing hospital to the new facility.
Designed by HMC Architects, the replacement hospital will serve as the new front door of the medical center, and the centerpiece of the campus. The entrance of the new tower is positioned at the end of a bustling outdoor plaza and leads to a bright and open lobby. An indoor-outdoor cafeteria, gift shop, admittance services, and a chapel are all easily accessible on the first floor.
In addition to providing a state-of-the art medical technology, the tower's patient-centered design addresses the comfort of visiting family members by incorporating family-friendly lounges and overnight spaces. Additionally, gently curved nurses' stations will allow for better care and visibility of patient rooms. Outdoor gardens will be built between the new and existing facility providing a serene and healing space for patients, visitors and staff.
The tower's exterior skin will be a combination of metal panel, precast concrete, plaster and curtain wall. The combination of materials for the tower's façade not only responds to the correct solar orientation to reduce energy consumption, but it also gives the tower a contemporary and elegant aesthetic.