Mercyhealth Celebrates Construction Milestone with a Topping Out Ceremony

Today, the highest steel beam was signed by Mercyhealth employees, physicians, administrators and community leaders and placed on the tallest point of the
structure that will soon support the largest project in Rockford’s history.

Mercyhealth Topping Out Riverside
Mercyhealth celebrates with a topping out ceremony at their Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Campus on Riverside Blvd.

“Today marks a very special moment, as we move one step closer to opening our Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Campus,” said Javon R. Bea, President and CEO of Mercyhealth, at the event presentation. “This tradition of Topping Out means more than raising the last beam. This tradition is about setting and achieving increasingly difficult goals, honoring the milestones along the way and saluting continued success.”

Beam “topping out” ceremonies are part of a long construction industry tradition to celebrate the ultimate height during the building process where those involved sign the beam. The evergreen tree used in the ceremony symbolizes the well wishes of good health and safety to the workers and all who enter.

“The placement of the last beam today represents one of the first building milestones for the largest construction project in Rockford’s history and the hard work of the hundreds of individuals who have helped us bring this wonderful hospital and medical center to reality.”

“Mercyhealth’s investment to expand health services in Rockford is quickly taking shape. We’ve completed the structural steel frame for the new hospital and multispecialty clinic in less than a year and are now moving to enclose the buildings. Mortenson is honored to have a critical role in bringing world-class healthcare to this community,” says Greg Werner, senior vice president and Chicago office leader of Mortenson Construction.

“This is an excellent example of how seamlessly local government and regional businesses can work together to create something of extraordinary value for the community. Today, I am happy to participate in the topping out ceremony designating the completion of the steel structure work and continuance into the next phase of construction,” said Dave Syverson, Mercyhealth Board Member.

Mercyhealth plans to open the $505 million, 451,000-square foot hospital and five-story, 81,500-square foot medical center, in late 2018. The three-wing, six-story hospital, five-story medical center will offer:

  • 192 inpatient beds, expanded patient services and will incorporate advanced technology designed to the standards of today and the future
  • State-designated regional perinatal center
  • The highest level, level III, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Pediatric unit (with roof garden on the pediatric unit)
  • Pediatric intensive care unit
  • High-risk maternity care
  • Pediatric emergency services
  • Level I (highest level) trauma center
  • An adult sub-specialty hospital, including plastic and reconstructive surgery, brain and spine, endocrinology, orthopedics, pulmonology and heart services, and more
  • Cutting-edge operating suites and surgical services to support a full range of inpatient and outpatient surgery, including minimally invasive surgery and image-guided surgery
  • Comprehensive diagnostic center with lab and imaging
  • Multi-disciplinary physician care clinics, serving adult and pediatric patients.

Beyond expanding the breadth and depth of medical services available through more than 400 new permanent health care jobs, the project is a catalyst for other economic growth, creating more than 1,100 additional construction jobs and featuring 263 acres of land for further development for hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, and other retail outlets.

The next phase in the building process includes building the enclosure systems; beginning the brick masonry; installing the glass and glazing; roughing in the plumbing and electrical; beginning the roof system; and framing the interior walls. The campus is nestled in a beautiful, natural setting with easy access from I-90 and Riverside Boulevard in Rockford.

For updates on the construction progress, visit