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Officials beam over hospital progress

March 05, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Hospital officials on Thursday celebrated a construction milestone for a new Washington County regional medical center on Robinwood Drive.

A brief "topping out" ceremony was held, recognizing the highest point of construction.

The entire project is expected to finish around the fall or winter of 2010, said James Hamill, the president and CEO of Washington County Health System, the parent company of Washington County Hospital.

The new 500,000-square-foot regional medical center near Robinwood Medical Center will replace the current Washington County Hospital on East Antietam Street. The center does not yet have a name.

Raymond Grahe, the hospital's vice president of finance, said the regional medical center is projected to cost $294 million.

Grahe said $264 million worth of bonds were sold. Another $10 million will be raised through investments. The remaining $20 million will come from the health system and donors.

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Major donors to the capital campaign signed the final steel beam Thursday.

Then, a crane lifted the 27-foot, 11-inch beam into place. Hospital and construction officials applauded.

The health system announced in 2003 that it planned to build a new hospital. A court challenge by a citizens' group held up construction for more than a year and a half.

A construction schedule says it will take until April to put up the rest of the steel and pour concrete floors. Facades, windows and roofs will be installed by August.

Gilbane, the construction manager, is based in Rhode Island and has a regional office in Laurel, Md.

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