AVON - An $84 million construction projection at IU Health West Hospital in Avon is being celebrated today as officials conduct the "topping out" ceremony. Construction crews will place the final steel beam in the structural frame, marking a major milestone for the project.

“This expansion sets the stage for IU Health and IU Health West to continue to be the first choice for patients in our market for years to come,” said Doug Puckett, president of the IU Health Indianapolis Suburban Region.

Hundreds of IU Health West team members signed the steel that was used in the ceremony.

For months, work crews have been adding one floor to the hospital’s “B” inpatient tower and two floors on the north side of the building. The extra space will allow the expansion of operating rooms, laboratories, and inpatient pharmacy.

The health system says the expansion will also increase the hospital’s inpatient capacity by more than 50 percent, adding 48 inpatient beds.

“Our ability to provide care to all of the patients who need us has been challenged by our capacity,” said Puckett. “We serve a growing community and have been proud to serve the people of Hendricks County and beyond since we opened in late 2004.

The health system says the expansion at IU Health West Hospital will be completed in early 2021. The hospital will remain open during construction. Officials say construction work has been strategically planned to minimize disruption to patient care.