Topping out of Bronson South Haven Hospital Construction Project

Published on January 27, 2020

Bronson South Haven Hospital Project 'Tops Out'

Check Presentation.

An evergreen and the American flag are lifted to the top of the new Bronson South Haven Hospital. The signed beam is the last to be placed in the steel framework of the facility.

January 23 marked a construction milestone in the development of the new Bronson South Haven Hospital. On that day, the final beam of steel was raised and put in place atop the structure signaling the completion of the steel framework for the new facility. This tradition, called ‘Topping Out’, is a custom among iron workers around the world and is a signal that a structure has reached its full height.

The framework for the new hospital consists of 440 beams, 98 columns, 136 joist and 692 miscellaneous structural components, totaling 594,000 pounds. An additional 58 tons of decking will be used to complete the new hospital construction project. An onsite crew of six ironworkers and a team of nine steel shop fabricators, using steel members and connections that were previously detailed by FCC Construction Inc. starting back in October, are facilitating the scope of work.

On Thursday, January 23, the final beam was lifted by a crane to the top of the structure. Once in place, an evergreen tree and an American flag were attached to it. Covering the beam were the signatures of Bronson South Haven providers and employees.

Kirk Richardson, sr. vice president/COO/CNO at Bronson South Haven, says, “Bronson is proud to invest in the future of healthcare in South Haven. The $22 million state-of-the-art facility will have a tremendous impact on the future vitality of this area and enable us to better address current and future healthcare needs.”

The two-story, 52,000 square foot facility stands to the east of the current hospital, facing Red Arrow Highway. Upon completion, the new hospital will house an inpatient unit, emergency department, radiology, lab, pharmacy, café, gift shop, as well as family medicine, internal medicine, cardiology and women’s services on the second floor.

Planning for the new hospital began after an extensive study determined that renovating the current hospital would be fiscally prohibitive. In addition, the new hospital will be less costly to operate and will be significantly more environmentally friendly in many ways. The facility will exceed minimum Energy Code Building Requirements through of the use of energy efficient LED lighting, high performance low E coated glass, indoor air quality improvements and building material resource conservation. Low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials and use of material with high recyclable content will further contribute to making the building a healthy one.

You can follow the construction progress at

About the Topping Out Tradition:

The tradition of Topping Out dates back more than 1,000 years to the time of the Vikings who upon completion of their high homes, called mead halls, would hoist an evergreen to the ridge pole in celebration. In modern times, as iron and steel replaced timber as primary building tools, the Norseman’s custom was carried forward by the Ironworkers’ trade. Today, the evergreen atop the beam has come to symbolize that a job went up without any loss of life and is said to bring good luck to the building’s future occupants. In the United States, the flag was added in the 1920’s as a demonstration of Ironworkers’ loyalty to country and pursuit of the American Dream.

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