The Maryland Proton Treatment Center, a $200 million collaborative health care project that will bring the most advanced radiation technology in cancer treatment, celebrated its "topping out" with a ceremony on Jan. 17. Topping out is a major construction milestone, marking the last beam being laid in the building.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine and its Department of Radiation Oncology, which will operate the proton therapy center, was joined in the festivities by the developer, San Diego-based Advanced Particle Therapy, as well as Haskell, the architecture, construction, and engineering firm for the project. The facility is scheduled to begin treating patients in 2015.
At the ceremony, a giant crane hoisted a nine-foot beam three stories above the street and rested it in place at the top of what will be a 122,000-square-foot building in the University of Maryland BioPark in West Baltimore.
Nearly 400 invited guests - including construction workers and leadership from all the partner organizations - signed the white beam in a rainbow of colors before it was put in place. Each color represented a different cancer: i.e., gray for brain cancer, pink for breast cancer, orange for kidney cancer, etc. In keeping with a long-standing tradition of the topping out ceremony, the beam carried with it an evergreen tree and an American flag.
For more details about the project and the ceremony, including videos, click here.