The $70 million Florida Hospital WatermanEmergency Department Expansion and New Patient Tower which broke ground in July 2017 marked a major milestone last week. The highest structural element was put in place and the hospital hosted a "topping out" celebration, a traditional construction ceremony. Guests were invited to sign the structure’s highest beam before it was lifted by a crane into place. As part of the tradition, an evergreen tree was lifted with the beam and placed on the top of the project.
The project will more than double the hospital’s emergency department capacity by adding more than 111,000 square feet of patient care space to the hospital. This includes an expansion of the emergency department to 58 beds and a 24-bed women and pediatrics unit. Floors three and four of the new patient tower will be shelled for future growth, and the structure will support an additional expansion up to six floors. Construction is scheduled to be completed by April 2019.
“This is a big day for Florida Hospital Waterman,” said Abel Biri, the hospital’s CEO. “As our community continues to grow, and more Lake County residents choose us for their care, we have expanded to meet that demand.
“We are committed to delivering the most advanced and efficient care possible in our community, and we are blessed to have the opportunity to build on our historic commitment for the future,” continued Biri.
Abel Biri, the hospital’s CEO, and guests signed the project's top beam.
Florida Hospital Waterman will soon be AdventHealth Waterman. The 269-bed hospital was founded in 1938 in Eustis by Frank Waterman, president of the Waterman Fountain Pen Company, as an 18-bed facility in a defunct hotel. The hospital joined the Adventist Health System in 1992 and moved to its current Tavares location in 2003. With more than 1,700 employees and nearly 280 physicians on its medical staff, the hospital cares for more than 15,000 inpatients a year.
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