By Alana Mitchelson
THE new St John of God Berwick Hospital has reached full height, and has dramatically changed the Berwick skyline.
Staff held a ‘topping out’ ceremony on the roof of the seven-storey development to mark the milestone on Wednesday 16 November with the ceremonial placement of a symbolic pomegranate tree — St John of God Hospital’s logo representing “respect, excellence, compassion, justice and hospitality”.
The practice of placing a tree on the rooftop of a building once it has reached full height dates back to Pre-Dark Age Scandinavian Folklore, acknowledging the safe completion of the building and recognising the significant amount of work undertaken to construct the building to that point.
“It is very exciting to see our hospital come to life. Our team onsite and the community are becoming increasingly excited about the new hospital taking shape. In 12 months’ time we will be able to deliver our distinctive style of care in a beautiful new facility,” St John of God Berwick chief Lisa Norman said.
The new $120 million facility is expected to open late next year.
It will see the relocation and expansion of services currently offered at the Gibb Street hospital with the addition of the region’s first intensive care unit and cardiac services that include dedicated cardiac beds and a cardiac/vascular catheter laboratory.