Visitors to Upstate University Hospital get an up-close view of the construction at the Upstate Cancer Center. The now towering framework began rising out of the ground a little more than a year ago. Early this morning, its final steel beam– measuring 23 foot-long, and weighing in at 600 pounds– was carefully wheeled into the hospital lobby. This beam will be the one that completes the framework and brings the Cancer Center one step closer to opening its doors.
All those that have been touched by cancer are invited to leave their name on the beam. This morning, Cancer Center supporters, patients, friends, staff and hospital administrators gathered to kick-off the beam signing by affixing their names to it. Cancer Center campaign co-chair and SU Head Coach Jim Boeheim and his wife Juli, of the Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation were on hand to lend their continued support to the project. Media were also in attendance.
Markers in colors that represent different forms of cancer are available for use on the white beam. When all signatures are in place, the beam will be coated in a clear varnish that will preserve the names, protecting them from the elements.
In early March, the beam will be removed from the lobby and inserted into its permanent home at the top of the Cancer Center. Once the building is complete, the beam will still be visible from the roof. The signatures placed on the beam throughout this month, will forever be a part of the Cancer Center, just as the patients they represent are part of its continued mission to educate and heal.
The Upstate Cancer Center is slated to open in Spring 2014.