Topping Out Ceremony Held for New Care Tower at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

March 5, 2024

Topping Out Ceremony Held for New Care Tower at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical CenterAtrium Health Wake Forest Baptist held a topping out ceremony today for the $450 million care tower on the campus of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The milestone event, marking the raising of the final steel beams, signifies the completion of the structural framework of the 350,000-square-foot building. 

Over the past 17 months, hundreds of construction workers, putting in more than 268,000 work hours, placed more than 2,200 tons of reinforcing steel into more than 19,200 cubic yards of concrete, which is equivalent to around 1,920 truckloads, to complete the structure of the building.

The care tower will include an upgraded emergency department, state-of-the-art operating rooms and enhanced adult intensive care units. In addition, larger and brighter rooms with more natural light and increased privacy, along with new outdoor green space, will help promote wellness and healing and reduce stress on patients, their families and staff.

The project is a significant investment in the Triad region as a result of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s strategic combination with Atrium Health.

“As we celebrate the placement of the final beams, we are reminded how this facility is a tangible example of our commitment to continue to grow to meet the needs of our patients and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, CEO and chief academic officer at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, chief academic officer and executive vice president at Advocate Health and executive vice president for health affairs at Wake Forest University. “We are so thankful for the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of construction workers, the design and planning teams, and everyone involved in this project which will allow us to enhance our clinical, research and educational capabilities and serve this community for generations to come.” 

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the region’s only Level I adult trauma center and Level I pediatric trauma center. Wake Forest University School of Medicine is a recognized leader in experiential learning and groundbreaking research and is the academic core of Advocate Health.  

"Topping out is a special milestone because it's a celebration of the hard work of our construction crews," said Scott Duckworth, Brasfield & Gorrie regional president. "Those crews are people whose hard hats represent not only Brasfield & Gorrie and Blum Construction Co., but also the hundreds of local construction teammates who work for the many trade contractors necessary to bring this project to life. We're grateful for the team's dedication and for the opportunity to be part of the local community."

Each year, more than 100,000 patients come through the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center emergency department. In addition, more than 4,300 critically injured adults and children from across a three-state region come to the Level I trauma center to receive the highest level of trauma care.

“As we commemorate the topping out ceremony of the care tower, we honor not only the steel and concrete rising to the sky, but also the collective spirit and dedication of our community and Triad construction crews,” said Mike Lancaster, CEO of Blum Construction Co. “Headquartered in Winston-Salem for over 100 years, the Blum team, along with our partners at Brasfield & Gorrie, cares deeply about this community and know this tower stands not just as a structure, but also as a beacon of hope and unity for all who call this place home."

The care tower project is expected to be fully completed in 2026 and the first phase of the building – the new and expanded adult emergency department – is scheduled to open in mid-2025.

The general contractor for the project is a joint venture between Brasfield & Gorrie and Blum Construction Co. and the architects are HKS and CPL. Hundreds of local construction and design workers, including women- and minority-owned businesses, are involved in the project.

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Jenna Kurzyna,; Joe McCloskey,