Newswise — On Tuesday, December 8, Ridgewood, NJ-based Valley Health System celebrated a construction milestone for the “new” Valley Hospital in Paramus, NJ, today with a “topping out” ceremony in which the final structural steel beam was put into place.
Topping out is an ancient building practice that today signifies that a construction project has reached the attainment of its highest point. The custom of placing a tree on a completed structure came with immigrants to the United States and became an integral part of American culture in barn raisings and housewarmings.
As part of tradition in the United States, a potted evergreen tree (which will be replanted) and an American flag were affixed to the beam as it was raised into place. The beam was adorned with signatures and messages for good luck from Valley employees, donors to the project, and others.
“A little over a year ago, on November 1, 2019, we gathered on this very same site, to mark the beginning of this project with the groundbreaking ceremony,” said Audrey Meyers, President and CEO of Valley Health System and The Valley Hospital. “In just over 13 months, this site has been transformed from an empty plot of land to an incredible framed structure that, when finished, will be a state-of-the-art hospital serving our community.”
Joseph Lorino, Vice President of Facilities Management, Valley Health System, noted, “This new hospital reflects Valley’s strong commitment to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into the construction, operation and maintenance of the new facility, with 30 percent of the site dedicated to open, green space. We anticipate LEED Gold Certification.”
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to set a benchmark for design, construction, maintenance, and operation of high-performance green buildings and homes.
“Congratulations to Valley on this momentous occasion,” said Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera. “As we’ve reached this milestone, I’m so excited that we’re another step closer to Paramus becoming the healthcare hub of the state with Valley’s modern, state-of-the-art hospital right at the center of it all. All of us who have proudly supported this project from the very beginning know how important it will be for our entire community – providing first class healthcare, good jobs, and an economic boost to our area for decades to come.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez, and Cory Booker, U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer, Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, and Cathleen Bennett, President and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association, sent pre-recorded video messages of support to Valley.
“At a time when our health is top of mind, knowing that the hospital in our local community is a place where extraordinary care is provided, that brings peace of mind that is truly priceless,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “And for residents of Paramus, Bergen County and all of New Jersey, Valley Hospital has been a trusted and highly respected institution with a legacy of exceptional care for almost 7 decades. I want to extend my congratulations to all who have worked so hard to see this project come to fruition, and my thanks to every single one of our heroic healthcare professionals keeping us safe, healthy and alive.”
“Times like these remind us why investment in our healthcare system is so important,” said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. “To families, the value of having access to top-notch medical care so close by cannot be overstated. And Bergen County will be stronger and more prepared to take on the healthcare challenges of tomorrow when the new Valley Hospital opens its doors.”“I cannot wait to see how you all continue to raise the game on providing professional care to so, so many; making a difference – not just in the lives of the people you touch – but their families, the larger community and all of us,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “Congratulations on ascending to this moment and I look forward to watching you all, as a team, continue to go higher in your service.” “I want to thank Valley for pushing so hard to make sure that we have a state-of-the-art facility to help the community,” said U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer. “We’ve seen, with COVID-19, just how important it is to have top of the line facilities and have the best doctors, techs and nurses – which we do at Valley, right here in Paramus. I want to congratulate Valley Hospital on the steel beam, on the topping off, and I’m ready to keep coming back to celebrate all the progress along the way here.”
“I know how important it is that our residents have access to the high-quality care that Valley Hospital provides,” said Bergen County Executive James Tedesco.” This project builds upon that care, bringing a first-class, state-of-the-art hospital, as part of the health and wellness campus, to the region.”
“[Valley is] bringing a first-class, state-of-the-art hospital, part of a health and wellness campus, to the region,” said Cathleen Bennett, President and CEO, New Jersey Hospital Association. “Valley has committed to incorporating sustainable practices into the construction, operation, and maintenance of its new facility. Thank you, Valley and the Valley team for living your mission of enhancing lives by healing, caring, and inspiring wellness.”
The new Valley Hospital, which was first announced in 2017, will be located on Winters Avenue in Paramus, just 2.5 miles from Valley’s current campus in Ridgewood, NJ. The hospital, which will be the central point of a 40-acre health and wellness campus, will incorporate the latest innovations and best practices in modern healthcare facility design, with all single-patient rooms to enhance patient privacy, safety and comfort.
The plans for the new hospital also call for the creation of universally sized rooms for surgery and procedures. These rooms will be designed to accommodate the latest high-tech, minimally invasive robotic surgeries and interventional procedures with the flexibility to adapt to different purposes and emerging models of care.
From the beginning of planning the new hospital, Valley has also made a strong commitment to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into the construction, operation and maintenance of the new facility, with 30 percent of the site dedicated to open, green space. The facility will incorporate green roofs, which involves growing plants on the facility’s rooftops, to reduce storm water runoff, improve energy efficiency, and enhance the overall look of the hospital for patients and neighbors. Valley anticipates that the new hospital could open as early as 2023.
Due to restrictions on gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance was limited to a small group of Valley representatives and those working on the construction site.