Northern Light Acadia reaches big milestone for new pediatric wing

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 5:40 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) -Northern Light Acadia Hospital had hoped to place the final beam of a new pediatric wing in place Wednesday.

Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, the hospital held a “Topping Off” ceremony to highlight the moment in the progress of the new facilities construction.

Northern Light Acadia Hospital’s new pediatric wing will be a major component of the Acadia For All campaign, a project that will help Mainers from all corners of the state access the care they need for behavioral health issues.

“When we built this, in large part, it was a reaction to the need to do something, to get relief to Maine’s emergency departments,” said Acadia Hospital President Scott Oxley. “It’s all about taking care of our communities and providing much better access to care.”

Construction started in the spring and is still at least a year away from completion.

But having the final beam ready to be set represents a major milestone toward its completion, according to Northern Light Health President & CEO Tim Dentry.

“There’s so much excitement,” Dentry said. “That now really builds because we’re putting heart and soul into what is now the steel construction, but then it’s going to be fleshed out for all the other space where we can deliver sensitive care, so it’s very exciting.”

The beam has been signed by hospital employees, trustees, and donors, and will provide support for a facility that will add 50 new pediatric inpatient rooms, along therapy and classroom spaces for kids’ programming.

“The names on the beam,” said Dentry, “the fact that that’s going to be the connective tissue that’s making this happen is really great.

“They want to be part of something that’s special,” Oxly added. “So, one way to show their support is by signing the beam. There’ll be a permanent structure here in a hospital. It will go on for many years and decades to come.”

As the hospital looks forward to when the new facility is completed, it says it won’t really be the end of the project. Instead, it will be just the opposite.

“It’s going to be a moment of accomplishment, gratitude, of joy, of emotion,” Dentry said. “But also, ‘Now let’s show our true Maine grit. Let’s get down to work and let’s take care of people.”