Franciscan Health’s new $200 million hospital in Crown Point at I-65 and US 231 reached a construction milestone with the placement of the final structural steel beam.
System officials were joined by community as well as construction firm representatives for a ceremonial topping off event of the new facility set to open in 2024. The special bright yellow beam was transported to the new hospital site from the current hospital at 1201 S. Main St. where it was signed by dozens of Crown Point Franciscan staff.
“This is a special day,” Jason Middleton, vice president of administrative services at Franciscan Health Crown Point said during the event. “This is the final beam going up into the (new) hospital.”
Sister Ann Kathleen Magiera, vice president, mission integration for Franciscan Health Crown Point, Dyer, Hammond and Munster, said two blessed holy medals were attached to the beam.
One is of St. Joseph the patron of workers, daily imploring him to protect all as they continue making progress on the building, and to continue his protection of all who work within our Franciscan facilities, she said. The second medal is of health system foundress Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel.
Dr. Daniel McCormick, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Crown Point, said the new facility is a beginning of a new age for health care in Northwest Indiana.
“This building reaffirms the commitment the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration have made to our communities since arriving in Lafayette from Germany in 1875,” he said.
Crown Point Mayor David Uran said Franciscan Health has been the largest employer in the city for decades, adding that the opportunities for other physicians and ancillary medical facilities in Crown Point will “make this the best location for medical services, not only in Northwest Indiana, but also the Chicagoland area.”
Jon Gilmore, president and CEO of Tonn and Blank Construction, said, much progress has been made on the new hospital but much work remains.
Gilmore said Tonn and Blank workers have moved more than 9.5 million cubic feet of soil, poured 1,500 truckloads of concrete and erected more than 10 million pounds of steel. The process includes unique offsite construction, where exam rooms, bathrooms and electrical distribution rooms will be built and fully finished at Tonn and Blank’s offsite facility, then delivered to the worksite.
“Thanks to our highly skilled workforce, coupled with the latest in virtual construction technology, we are able to do things on this project like this that were never possible in the past,” Gilmore said. Construction of the new hospital began in September 2020.
The new Franciscan Health Crown Point hospital is the centerpiece of a 500-plus-acre development at the southeast corner of I-65 and US 231 that includes the expansion of Franciscan Health Franciscan Point and a doubling in size of the existing University of St. Francis campus.
About 250 acres is reserved for residential development, and Tonn and Blank Construction will be developing an additional 80 acres for commercial use. A 60-acre parcel will serve as a potential home for a new Catholic high school by the Gary Diocese Schools.