UPMC ground breaking ceremony/expansion excites the city

Local News

It’s a project that’s expected to expand medical care in the region.  UPMC Hamot is breaking ground on its patient tower.  

You might have seen the gradual demolition of the previous building that stood at the same site.  UPMC Hamot is calling this construction the largest in the hospital’s 135-year history.  

There’s a large pit where the UPMC Hamot Professional Building once stood.  After months of dismantling the eight-story building, it was brought down in July; soon to rise in its place is the new $111 million UPMC Hamot Patient Care Tower.

Dr. Greg Beard, Vice President of Medical Affairs for UPMC Hamot, tells us, “Having a new state-of-the-art building where we can provide all the critical care and intensive care services for us is huge.”

UPMC Hamot and community members celebrated the development with a ground-breaking ceremony Friday morning.

The hospital’s president, David Gibbons, says the new eight-story tower will increase the number of ICU beds from 40-64 and expand other services like radiology. “We’re seeing more and more patients coming to us from the region, as well as Erie itself. We needed to expand our capacity.”

According to Gibbons, since UPMC became affiliated with Hamot in 2011; they’ve hired about 600 physicians in Erie.  The expansion could make room for another 100.

In the meantime, the construction project is creating work for hundreds of people. 

Director of Facilities and Construction for UPMC Hamot, Brian Iavarone, tells us, “That will involve local contractors, engineers, architects, and other design professionals.”

Upon completion of this project in late 2020, UPMC Hamot will have invested more than $400 million over the past seven years.  Gibbons adds, “And it’s not over. We’ll continue to invest in Erie as we watch the growth and expansion of UPMC Hamot and our subsidiaries.”

Mayor Joe Schember even chimed in, saying, “This is very exciting. The jobs they’re creating… number one, and then once the building’s up, they’re going to be bringing more employees in.”

Construction will finish in late 2020, with it ready to be used for patients by early 2021.

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