The final steel beam is now in place for UPMC Hamot's new patient care tower.

The beam was raised to the top of the construction site during a ceremony at the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Invited guests watched the ceremony on a big screen. Hospital employees could watch live on their UPMC computers.

As is the custom for such ceremonies, an evergreen tree and an American flag sit atop the final beam.

The new, seven-story patient tower will cover 177,000 square feet and will include, among other things, 64 intensive care beds.

"The space is so needed," said David Gibbons, president of UPMC Hamot. "Outpatient volume is increasing. Today, our census is well over 400 patients, and we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new ICU beds, which we'll move into."

Construction is scheduled to wrap up in December 2020. The project costs $111 million.