Public asked to leave mark on CAMC
10/24/2013 - The Charleston Gazette. By Caitlin Cook.
CHARLESTON - Community members will have a chance to leave a lasting mark on Charleston Area Medical Center's David Lee Cancer Center in Kanawha City.
CAMC is welcoming residents, CAMC employees and donors to the health center to sign their name or write a memory or message on the final steel beam to be placed on the structure during a "topping off" ceremony on Nov. 18.
"It's an exciting time," said Gail Pitchford, president of the CAMC Foundation. "It is sort of the ending of a phase and the starting of a new one."
Pitchford said it took a lot of work to make the $15 million, three-story, state-of-the-art cancer center a reality.
"We want people to feel like it is their cancer center," Pitchford said. "It's for all of us. It's for the community."
Pitchford said all are welcome to stop by the construction site in Kanawha City at the former Watt Powell baseball park Nov. 11 through Nov. 15, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to sign the final steel beam.
The final beam will be painted white, distinguishing it from the other beams in the infrastructure. Pitchford added that the ceremony is another way to thank everyone involved.
She expects a good turnout for the event and added that no matter if she's at work, with friends or in her neighborhood, people are talking about the cancer center's progress.
"That beam will be there holding that building together for a long, long time," Pitchford said. "We're ready to move into the next phase of getting that building built."
The next construction step would be placing a roof on the structure, then adding walls. Construction is expected to be complete next year.
The center is expected to begin accepting patients in January 2015.
"It's kind of symbolic. The building has risen above the ground," Pitchford said. "It's happening. It's going to be built. It's real for people now."