The “Topping Out” ceremony celebrated a milestone at MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. The final steel beam for the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion was raised into position atop the 625,000 square-foot structure.

Topping out ceremonies mark the placement of the last beam on top of a building during its construction. There’s often a tree atop the beam, based on an old Scandinavian religious rite. Since this topping out was in Charleston, a palmetto tree rode this beam on its way to the top.

“The piece of steel represents the significant amount of passion, dedication and labor by the many people involved in this project, commemorated by the signatures of care providers, children, parents, donors, construction workers, architects and all of the other individuals who believe in the spirit and purpose of what we do each and every day at MUSC,” MUSC Health’s CEO Dr. Patrick Cawley said.

Among its many spacious, family-centered amenities and expanded services, it will include an expanded neonatal intensive care unit, enhanced labor and delivery services, an entire floor dedicated to the care of children with cancer, a world-class atrium and outdoor healing space, and the most comprehensive pediatric heart center in South Carolina.

The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2019. Shawn Jenkins, the co-founder and CEO of Benefitfocus who has donated $25 million to help build the hospital, called it surreal to see the project reach this milestone.

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Brittany Grabski