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Eastside 'tops out' new patient tower

Special Photo Construction workers place the final steel beam in the framework of Eastside Medical Center's new three-story patient tower, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Special Photo Construction workers place the final steel beam in the framework of Eastside Medical Center's new three-story patient tower, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

SNELLVILLE -- Eastside Medical Center marked a significant milestone recently, holding a "topping out" ceremony for its new patient tower.

The north tower, a $59-million project scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, will be three stories and contain 48 patient beds. In a topping out ceremony, the final steel beam in a building's frame -- traditionally painted white and signed by those wishing well for the project -- is ceremoniously placed.

"This is an exciting milestone on our journey to create one of the finest community hospitals in Gwinnett County," Eastside COO Dustin Greene said.

The new patient tower is the latest in a series of changes around the Snellville hospital, including recent openings of a new medical office building and expanded emergency department. Eastside also recently announced it would be extending its cardiac services to include angioplasty and stenting on May 1, through an exclusive partnership with Piedmont Heart Institute.

Patient rooms at the new tower will be "adjustable acuity," meaning patients can stay in the same room regardless of the level of care required.