They’re building on hope

Cancer Treatment Centers of America dedicated a “beam of hope” last week as part of its expansion plans.

The hospital, at 1331 E. Wyoming Ave., is constructing a three-story, 38,000-square-foot addition on the west side of its campus. It will house an expanded eight-bed intensive-care unit on the second floor and additional clinical areas, including operating rooms, on the first and third floors.

Patients, caregivers, employees and construction workers signed a steel beam from Oct. 10-12, offering personal messages of hope for all those facing cancer.

On Oct. 13, an American flag and an evergreen tree were attached to the beam before it was raised to top off the building. The event also included a minister’s prayer.

Steve Rusinko, CTCA’s chief financial officer, explained that construction should be completed by next June. The general contractor is HSC Builder & Construction Managers in Exton, Chester County.

The build-out is the first at the campus. The site had been vacant land.

CTCA also is doubling the size of its rehabilitation center, which will include such new features as a built-in kitchen area for occupational-therapy patients. In a year or so, there will be more expansion of the cafeteria and radiology and radiation units.

“In the future, there will be more build-outs as we continue to grow,” Rusinko said.

Other possible projects include a parking garage and guest-quarters building.

CTCA opened in December 2005 in the former Parkview Hospital building. The number of employees has risen from 154 to more than 800.

The hospital has seen an average increase in patients of 20 percent per year.

CTCA and its construction partners also have taken over control of the adjacent Greenwood Cemetery, transforming the once-dilapidated property into a neighborhood source of pride.

The ground in the rear of the cemetery is now used by the hospital for parking. It features an herb and vegetable garden, walking trail, lighting and landscaping. ••