Construction has met an important goal this month as the new Health Center of East Ridge at Cutler Bay reached its highest point and celebrated with a “Topping Out”.

The ancient construction ritual of placing an evergreen at the highest point of the building was continued at East Ridge at Cutler Bay.

Derived from an old Viking-Nordic tradition, the Scandinavians believed it would keep evil spirits away and workers safe. It has evolved over time but is still practiced on construction projects across the globe.

“LECESSE / Arellano Construction celebrated the “Topping Out” with a barbecue to thank all the construction crews for their support and encourage their continued attention to job safety,” said Sharon Breitinger, Director of Design and Construction with SantaFe Senior Living.

“The topping out shows our appreciation for the hard work during the first stage of the project, said KC Williams, project executive with LECESSE. The East Ridge project has been safe and accident free. With the amount of manpower on the site at any one time and different trades and companies; this is a testament to safe working conditions and continuing to follow safety procedures. A recent inspection by OSHA was deficiently free.

Construction traditions have been part of the Health Center’s construction since its official groundbreaking in April, 2014. In November, residents joined together in signing a beam that was installed in the entrance of the Health Center. East Ridge staff signed wall studs in the same manner. When the building is completed, this construction beam will not be visible but residents will know they left their mark and personal messages.

After Topping Out, numerous elements of construction remain, including interior finish and most mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

With a tentative opening planned in Nov., 2015, the Health Center will offer a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center for residents of East Ridge and in and around the Cutler Bay vicinity. Assisted living, memory support residences will be included as well as skilled nursing. The new Health Center represents a $70 million expansion for Miami-Dade County’s only life care community which is over 50 years old.

It is the first new rehabilitation facility to be built in South Miami-Homestead in over ten years.

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