Ironworkers Place Final Steel Beam At WCA Hospital

Ironworkers placed a final steel beam atop the future site of the Women’s and Maternity Care Center and Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Inpatient Units on Thursday. Submitted photo

The $20 million UPMC Chautauqua WCA construction project hit another milestone Thursday when ironworkers placed a final steel beam atop the future site of the Women’s and Maternity Care Center and Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Inpatient Units. In a topping off ceremony, community supporters, local representatives, and hospital and construction officials celebrated the milestone that marks the completion of the steel structure on the construction project located on Foote and Prather Avenue.

Betsy T. Wright, president UPMC Chautauqua WCA, said the new programs are “fundamental to the health and safety of the region.”

“UPMC Chautauqua WCA has been and will continue to be, the main source of health care for a large percentage of area residents,” Wright said. “Maintaining our hospital as a key provider in this region is critical. The major goal of the construction project is to consolidate and enhance our current obstetrics and prenatal delivery system and bring inpatient mental health services from Jones Memorial Health Center to the Foote Avenue campus.”

The multi-million-dollar construction project began in mid-September of 2017, commencing with demolition of the existing ambulance building and verification of existing structural features for steel fabrication. Concrete foundations progressed through winter and finished on-time to allow setting of structural steel.

Funds for the project were made possible from New York State through the Essential Health Care Provider Support Program. With the integration of WCA Hospital in 2016 into the UPMC network, UPMC relieved the hospital of its debt, covered its pension obligations, and freed up significant additional monies for future developments. In addition, UPMC committed $25 million in capital improvements and more recently, $30 million in information systems.

Steve Kilburn, chair UPMC Chautauqua WCA Board of Directors, said the new building project will serve the growing needs of the community. “Today marks yet another milestone in our hospital’s ongoing commitment to provide world-class health care to our region,” Steve said. “A state-of-the-art Women’s and Maternity Care Center will serve growing families in our community for years to come. This hospital also remains committed to providing a full-range of behavioral health services, including brand-new inpatient mental health units. With these and other advances at UPMC Chautauqua WCA, our local health care system grows stronger, our families and communities become healthier, and our hospital’s investment in our local economy becomes even greater.”

Event attendees included State Sen. Cathy Young, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell and representatives from Congressman Tom Reed’s office.

The construction project is slated to open in the summer of 2019.

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