Hundreds of signatures adorned a 15-foot steel beam hoisted onto the framework of Ocean Medical Center's new four-story facility in Brick.

Signed steel beam at Ocean Medical Center (

The hospital held a topping off ceremony Wednesday, marking the near completion of the steel frame work for a new $82 million four-story facility that's due for completion around the Spring of 2014.

Regina Foley, Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Hospital Operations, says the focus of the expansion is a new Emergency Department.  She says the present E-R was constructed to accommodate only 20,000 visits but last year Ocean Medical Center saw 51,000 visits.  She says the expansion will help them meet the needs of their growing community.

Steel beam hoisted into the air at Ocean Medical Center in Brick (

Foley says the new facility will allow the emergency department to triple in square footage, expanding it from 24 to 49 bay locations.  It will also provide special areas for unique patient populations, like a dedicated area for pediatrics, express care and behavioral health.

Foley says the expansion means more jobs for the area.  She says they'll need additional emergency medical staff members like nursing and radiology as well as staff to fill environmental services and house keeping post.

The Meridian Hospital facility has also been fully involved in a capital campaign, raising $6.5 million with the help of Team Members and the community, according to Foley and she says that money will be matched by the Hovnanian family.

Listen to a conversation with Regina Foley

In a press release, hospital officials say in addition to a new emergency department, the project will also include a lower level for critical support services, and second and third floor shell space that will eventually contain expanded diagnostic and treatment services, as well as private patient care units.

The facility is slated for completion in the Spring of 2014.