After installing more than 2,000 steel beams, workers on Dec. 21 put in place the beam that tops the building’s highest point. Representatives from VHC, Skanska and its construction partners commemorated the milestone by signing the final steel beam.
The under-construction outpatient center for Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) in Arlington has reached a new landmark.
After installing more than 2,000 steel beams, workers on Dec. 21 put in place the beam that tops the building's highest point, said Skanska, the project manager.
The installation put a cap on the seven-story facility adjacent to the hospital campus at 1701 N. George Mason Dr. Representatives from VHC, Skanska and its construction partners commemorated the milestone by signing the final steel beam.
VHC, a community-based hospital, has provided medical services to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for more than 75 years.
The hospital expects the outpatient pavilion to be finished in the last months of 2023, according to its project webpage.
When completed, VHC will move its outpatient services to the new facility providing direct, easy access for patients to treatment and examination rooms for outpatient physical and aquatic therapy, an outpatient lab and pharmacy, surgery and endoscopy treatment rooms and women's imaging suites. Portions of the main hospital will be reallocated for critical inpatient services.
After the move, VHC will be able to add approximately 100 beds to its existing building.
"The topping-out milestone demonstrates the significant progress we have made on this important project with our final goal of providing a facility that will offer state-of-the-art care for patients in northern Virginia," said Dale Kopnitsky, general manager and executive vice president responsible for Skanska's D.C.-area building operations.
In mid- to late-January, Skanska expects to complete the healthcare facility's structure while the enclosure of the building continues through the spring of 2022, a company representative told ARLNow, an online Arlington community news source. Also, work will commence on the interior, with an expected finish in December 2022.
The newly finished, 1,600-car parking garage includes three below-grade levels and six above-grade levels, as well as an indoor walkway connecting to the hospital.
The project was narrowly approved by the Arlington County Board in 2018 amid objections from some nearby residents.
Earlier this year, too, a handful of families in the area told ARLNow that they were dealing with discolored water, which they attributed to ongoing construction at VHC. Community leaders said at the time that the response to the "mini-Flint-like issue" — a reference to the Michigan city's large-scale water crisis — had been frustratingly slow.
In response, Arlington County and VHC said they were working to resolve the discoloration, which they tied to the installation of a new water main.
Construction for the VHC is likely not done as another project may be built in northern Virginia.
VHC spent $34.5 million to purchase a building at 1760 Old Meadow Rd. in McLean, Va., where it will set up an orthopedic outpatient surgery center, according to a report in the Washington Business Journal.
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