In a year of significant milestones in the history of Beebe Healthcare, another one occurred June 15.
Staff, administrators, board members and supporters gathered at the construction site of the new Beebe Specialty Surgical Hospital Campus for a topping-off ceremony. After the final steel beam was signed by attendees, a crane hoisted it to the large structure on Warrington Road between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.
The new $125 million, four-story, 135,000-square-foot hospital, one of the largest projects in Beebe's 103-year history, includes four operating rooms and anesthesia rooms with space for expansion, and 12 private inpatient rooms with space for another 12 rooms.
The third floor will be left vacant until additional funds can be raised to open a women's pavilion at the site. The floor will also be home to a robotics center.
The project is expected to be completed mid- to late-2022.
Beebe Healthcare CEO and President David Tam said the facility will help Beebe keep pace with changing technology. “It's advanced technology people in Sussex County deserve and need,” he said.
“This is a testament to the power of philanthropy. We are doing amazing things thanks to our supporters and the hard work by the board and the executive team. The next generation of care is here, and you are all with us on this journey as we continue to provide healthcare in Sussex County.”
The location near Rehoboth Beach is one step in a series to bring healthcare services closer to patients and customers, said David Herbert, chairman of the board of directors.
The facility is part of a $200 million capital campaign, which includes a $30 million renovation project at the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus on Savannah Road, Lewes, and the $48 million Beebe South Coastal Health Campus project in Millville, which is opening in two phases. The emergency center opened May 5 and the cancer center is scheduled to open in July.
TOPPING TRIVIA – Attached to the final beam were an American flag and a small evergreen tree, which are symbols of good luck to celebrate the completion of a building's steel skeleton structure. The evergreen dates back to an ancient Scandinavian religious rite to place a tree atop a building to appease tree-dwelling spirits displaced by construction.