After weeks of site preparation and steel beams being set in place one by one, it’s time to ceremoniously top out the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center.

Topping out ceremonies are a long-standing tradition in the world of commercial construction dating back to 700 AD, when Scandinavians believed topping a building with sheathes of grain provided good fortune and luck to the future tenants of the building.

WMC is inviting the public to join us on our campus Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 7 a.m., as we raise the final beam that will complete the iron skeleton that sits on the west side of our campus. The beam that will complete the structure to the children’s hospital spent 10 days on display at the Williamson County Fair and is completely covered with signatures of members of our community.

Donald Webb, Williamson Medical Center’s CEO, said this is an exciting day for the residents of Williamson and neighboring counties.

“The topping out of our children’s hospital is something that we’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” Webb said. “We’ve been planning and anticipating this significant moment in the construction process and to know that the community has blessed this beam and this project with their signatures and messages is a wonderful statement to how proud everyone is of this project.”

In addition to the ceremonial beam placement, WMC will also introduce several major donors to the project who will speak about the importance of this children’s hospital to this community.

Steve Smith, executive director of the Williamson Medical Center Foundation, which is leading the philanthropic endeavors for the hospital, said he hopes this donor putting his stamp of approval on this project will spark others to get involved.

“By introducing this impactful donor and supporter to this project, we hope others in the community will follow suit and join in our efforts to supplement the cost with input from the community,” Smith said.

WMC broke ground late in 2013 on two additions to its campus. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center and a surgery expansion that was topped off at a smaller ceremony held just a few weeks ago.

The children’s hospital will house a dedicated pediatric emergency department and 12 inpatient beds, both of which are a first for Williamson County. The building is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.

Williamson Medical Center, a 185-bed hospital fully accredited by The Joint Commission, provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care including emergency services, with credentialed physicians in 53 specialties and sub-specialties. The community-focused hospital offers a wide range of wellness services, screenings and classes. For more information about Williamson Medical Center, visit

Some additional statistics about our construction project, led locally by Skanska:

  • More than 90% of the subcontractors working on this project are employed by local subcontracting companies.
  • Skanska and its subcontracting partners have completed more than 45,000 working hours and anticipate peaking at 300 workers involved with the project.
  • To date, Skanska has diverted more than 75% of the construction waste on this project from landfills.
  • There have been no lost time incidents on this project to-date.