West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Lexington Medical Center has reached an important milestone in the construction of its additions to the facility.

The last beam was placed in the center's clinical expansion project on Thursday at their 'topping out' ceremony.

During this significant event, the last beam, which contains the signatures of hundreds of Lexington Medical Center employees, was placed atop the new patient care tower.

“This week’s ‘topping out’ milestone is important to us because it means Lexington Medical Center is one step closer to finishing our clinical expansion and allowing us to have the space to accommodate the expanding health care needs of our growing community for many years to come,” said Tod Augsburger, president & CEO of Lexington Medical Center.

With the population of Lexington County increasing rapidly, Lexington Medical Center plans to add to onto its facilities to meet the needs of a growing patient base.

The 550,000 square foot tower will have eight floors for patient services. This expansion means that the hospital will have about 70 more beds open and they plan to open more in the future.

There will be additional operating rooms, a relocated Labor and Delivery department, postpartum beds, newborn nurseries, additional intensive care and medical/surgical beds, and space for expanding clinical departments.

The top beam had an evergreen and flag on it when it was lifted into position. The evergreen tree is a symbol of good luck, growth and longevity. The flag symbolizes the construction crew’s pride in the accomplishment.

Lexington Medical Center hired Brasfield & Gorrie as the general contractor for the expansion project and Perkins+Will architectural firm.