A construction project is now complete and ahead of schedule.

Patients will soon be moving into the seven-story UPMC patient tower. It’s a project that took a team effort to create. For the first time, employees at UPMC Hamot had a chance to walk through the latest addition to the hospital.

“Just to get in there and get started, I am just very excited to see everything they have for us and all the new technology. It’s very exciting.” said Nicky Friedl.

The $111 million patient tower will help increase the occupancy of ICU beds, which is something that can be useful if we see an increase of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

“Fortunately for the current pandemic right now, we are seeing a decline in the inpatient volume, which is really exciting to the Hamot family and community. So, should there be a surge, we are well-positioned with the additional bed capacity to accommodate them.” said David Gibbons, President of UPMC Hamot.

UPMC will begin moving patients into the tower on Tuesday. Workers say they’re excited to get to work in this facility, but there is something else they’re really looking forward to.

“Working with my team again. It’s been difficult with COVID-19 in the ICU and we have helped all of our sister units. We have been really spread apart, so we haven’t been able to work as a team and the family that we are.” said Nicole Ohmer.

The second and third floor will be used for ICU patients. The fourth and fifth floors are designed to support the communities’ health care needs of the future.

UPMC originally scheduled to open the tower in March, but even in a pandemic, they were able to finish about a month ahead of schedule.