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Nemours celebrates topping off A.I. du Pont Hospital for Children expansion

Work on A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children’s $275 million expansion project is a step closer to completion.

Nemours hosted a “topping off” ceremony at its Wilmington campus Wednesday morning as the final beam was added to the frame of the new five-story, 459,000 square foot expansion that will feature all single-patient rooms, additional family support areas and a new Emergency Department.

Throughout construction, Nemours officials have tweaked the facility’s plans based on feedback from all parties involved, including patients and their families.

Nemours Chief Operating Officer Dr. Roy Proujansky says that will continue as work now moves indoors.

“We continue to learn. We’ve learned a tremendous amount about patient experience and patient care quality, but today somebody’s going to identify something new that moves that peanut just a little further. And it may change something about what we need to do with the spaces we work in – and we’ll change it,” said Proujansky.

Nemours CEO Dr. David Bailey expects the expansion to have a major impact on care the hospital provides area children when it opens, but noted today that it’s already providing an economic boost to Delaware.

“To date, the economic impact of this investment in the Delaware Valley exceeded $167 million and 1,100 jobs locally. When this project is finished next year, our investment will be approximately $270 million and 1,500 to 2,000 jobs,” said Bailey.

The project is expected to be completed and ready for use by the end of 2014. Hospital officials previously hoped to finish by next summer.

Nemours officials say June’s substantial rainfall has delayed progress, but the ability to do some work indoors off-site has minimized the time lost.