A huge construction project at the Erie VA Medical Center reached a major milestone today.

And a ceremony marked the progress at the new $11 million boiler plant.

It was called a topping off ceremony, with a wreath marking the end of the structural phase of the project.

Nearly 50 union craftsmen took a break to join the event.

The three new natural gas boilers will provide all the steam heat needed to warm the entire VA complex, including other new construction projects also underway.

And the boilers are 85% more efficient than than the current boilers installed in 1951.

While the new boilers are in place, crews still need to get all the systems hooked up, tested and ready for use.

Erie VA Medical Center General Engineer Rob Petrone said, "Now we've got to finish all the piping, get all the steam pipes back together, get the pipes insulated and getting controls on line. So there is an extensive process they have to go through when they test all the controls to make sure the boilers are working efficiently."

Crews expect the new boiler plant to be up-and-running sometime in April.