ECU 'tops out' Family Medicine Center
From left, Robert Monk III, Paul Grimes -- grandsons of Robert Monk -- Randy Williams and Dr. Kenneth Steinweg sign the beam as ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard watches at the Family Medicine Center topping out event. Photo by Cliff Hollis
(Mar. 2, 2010)
East Carolina Unversity marked a milestone in the construction of its new Family Medicine Center with a "topping out" event Tuesday, March 2.
"This building will change regional health care for the next 40 years," said Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, chair of family medicine at ECU, as the construction sounds echoed in the background on the $36.8 million building. Nearby, a white-painted steel beam awaited signatures from those in attendance before a lift hoisted it into place on the structure.
The facility will educate primary care physicians to provide care in a time of critical shortages, Steinweg said.
"One third of the physicians in eastern North Carolina are my age or older," Steinweg said. "We have a huge challenge ahead of us."
The new center, beside the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU, will have more than 60 exam rooms, a pharmacy, laboratory, a geriatric center, better parking and other amenities. It's projected to open later this year, and officials expect patient visits to climb by 8 percent once open.
Among those signing the beam were members of the Monk family, state legislators who helped secure funding for the building and family medicine faculty members who will provide care and teach medical students and residents in the building.
A $2.5 million gift from the Monk family is helping build the Frances J. and Robert T. Monk Sr. Geriatric Center as part of the Family Medicince Center.