ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – A 240-foot crane travels up Roanoke Memorial Hospital Thursday and Friday. It marks the start of construction work on the site of Carilion’s Crystal Spring Tower.
When fully completed, this red crane will be 240 feet from the ground.
“If you drive downtown, you can actually see this tower crane being set up. For a lot of people who didn’t really know he was here, it marks the start of construction, but now if you go down 220 you can see the crane coming and signal that the project is in full swing, ”said Josh Farr , Superintendent of Robins & Morton / Branch Builds.
The 500,000 square meter site will house the cardiovascular institute, 64 new patient rooms and a relocated and expanded emergency room.
“At our peak, we had over 130 COVID patients in our hospital. That has certainly decreased significantly, but it has made us rethink the size of our available hospital and communal beds and this will certainly help, ”said Marty Misicko, Carilion Vice President, Facilities and Construction.
The crane that helps build the tower is the second tallest structure in the city, surpassed only by the Wells Fargo building. But at this altitude come helicopter safety concerns.
“That was a lot of coordinating with Carilion’s security department and making sure we were communicating with the helicopters as they come in and out,” Farr said.
Other challenges with this project included the delay in items during the pandemic.
“Wood, copper, steel, even concrete and other building materials,” said Sam Burnette, executive director of the ESa architecture firm, which oversees the design of the Crystal Spring Tower.
But despite the challenges, the construction of Carilion is proceeding on time.
“It happens and I think everyone in the neighborhood is excited,” said Misicko.
There will be temporary closings on McClanahan Street and Jefferson Street as construction crews move utilities underground over the next several months. The red crane will be in use for another two years and the construction of the Crystal Spring Tower will continue until 2025.
Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.