Beam Us Up... 12 Floors

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Burke_Mendelsohn.jpgBreaking away from the traditional tree planting at the ceremonial "topping out" for the Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital expansion, hundreds of M. D. Anderson faculty, staff, patients, family members and volunteers signed three construction beams that have been positioned in the structure.

Begun in early 2008, the expansion of the Alkek Hospital is adding 12 levels atop the current 12-floor hospital. In 2010, 144 beds are expected to open on three patient care floors with five more patient care floors planned to open in the coming years. An observation deck and patient sitting area is planned for the highest point, the 24th floor.

Placing the beams.jpgWhen completed, the tower expansion project will almost double the square footage of the hospital, which opened in 1999.  The Alkek Hospital is currently 550,000 square feet and the expansion will add another 503,000 square feet.

The Alkek Hospital houses inpatient units as well as operating rooms, critical care units, diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy services and the Children's Cancer Hospital inpatient unit.  The hospital is named for Albert B. Alkek, who along with his wife, Margaret, graciously gave M. D. Anderson $30 million.

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