POTSDAM, NY – The names of over 100 people are officially a permanent part of the Regional Care Pavilion at Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH).
Signatures of CPH staff and board members, along with Rochester Regional Health leadership, local political representatives, and members of Pike Construction Services, LaBella, and Jeffords Steel & Engineering teams cover the beam that is now part of the fourth floor of the project.
A Beam Signing Ceremony was held on February 27, 2023, and over the following weeks the beam was made available for additional staff to sign. The beam was raised and became part of the permanent structure on April 11, 2023.
Affixed to the signed beam are an artificial evergreen tree, along with the American and Canadian flags. Pike Construction Services personnel explained the Topping Off Ceremony is a historical part of any major construction project.
“The last steel beam placed is a major milestone in the evolution of a building project,” noted Pike Project Manager II Alex Wightman. “The beam is typically adorned with a small evergreen tree and an American flag. The Canadian flag was also added to the CPH project due to Potsdam’s close proximity to Canada.
“The Topping Off Ceremony custom celebrates the construction process. It uniquely honors the accomplishments of the construction crew, and is reminiscent of old-fashion barn-raising celebrations,” he added.
“The tree really is the key symbol. In the steel trade, it signifies construction has reached the sky without loss of life or injury, and it bodes well for the future inhabitants of the building,” Mr. Wightman stated. “The evergreen symbolizes positive things – good luck for future occupants of the building, new or continued growth in concert with the environment, and a safe job well done. It is about taking satisfaction in getting the hard part of the project completed.”
CPH Director of Facilities Dereck Dodd said while the placement of the signed beam is extremely significant to the construction team, it is also a chance for Hospital personnel to congratulate the crew.
“The men and women working on this project have been working under some pretty extreme weather conditions over the past few months. No matter if it was snowing, sleeting, raining, or sunny, they completed their jobs day in and day out; and not to mention dealing with the high winds we experienced this spring,” Mr. Dodd said.
The Pike team has been vigilant in assuring safety on the construction site always comes first. Proper attire including eye wear, a neon yellow vest, hard hat, and appropriate foot wear are required of everyone within the construction zone.
A brief video of the Topping Off Ceremony, and photos of the Regional Care Pavilion project from its beginning in 2022 to the present time, are available on the St. Lawrence Health website under "Construction Photos and Videos" (click the button below).
As a reminder to patients and visitors to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, the Main and Emergency entrances are currently located on the “backside” of the Hospital on Cottage Street. Entrances are accessible from the Waverly/Cottage street intersection, and not off Leroy Street. Parking is available directly across from the entrance at 25 Cottage Street, Potsdam.
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