UPMC Northwest Breaks Ground for New Hospital
PITTSBURGH March 27, 2002 — Ceremonies to celebrate the groundbreaking for UPMC Northwest’s new hospital are being held at 5 to 7 p.m. today, Wednesday, March 27, 2002, at Cranberry High School in Seneca, PA.
The ceremonies mark the official start of construction of the $65 million project in Cranberry Township, Venango County.
Officials from both UPMC Northwest and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will begin the process of moving to the next phase (site preparation and building construction) with HBE Inc., the hospital design and building firm based in St. Louis, Mo., responsible for the project.
Several hundred people are expected to attend the ceremony, including representatives from local, county, state and federal government, community and economic leaders, hospital and health system board members, physicians and employees, along with many supporters and friends.
Festivities at the school begin with comments from Neil Todhunter, UPMC Northwest CEO; John Paul, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Executive Vice President; Fred Kummer, HBE President/CEO; and Ned Cowart, UPMC Northwest Board Chairman.
Following the comments, the speakers as well as several local dignitaries and clergy will be transported to the actual construction site to "turn dirt" and dedicate the property for the start of construction. A piece of heavy equipment furnished by Palo Construction of Clarion, PA, will take the first shovel full of soil to also mark the beginning of the project. These events will be televised to the guests at Cranberry High School.
A STAT MedEvac helicopter is expected to "fly by" the property at this point, if weather and emergency calls permit.
The festivities will conclude back at the high school with a fireworks display by Cartwright Fireworks, a pyrotechnics company owned and operated by one of UPMC Northwest’s physicians.
"It is an exhilarating feeling, and I’m speaking for everyone here, to dig in the dirt and finally get this project off the ground," says Neil Todhunter, UPMC Northwest CEO. "We will be looking forward, over the next two and a half years, to watching the new hospital develop from the ground up…it’s an exciting time for everyone."
John Paul, Executive Vice President of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center adds, "The face of healthcare in not only this region, but all of western Pennsylvania, will undergo many changes over the next several years, and we are extremely proud to be a part of this reformation. It continues to be UPMC’s goal to provide the people of this area of the state with innovative medical technology and to enhance the health of everyone who enters our care."