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Piedmont Athens Celebrates Construction Milestone, Sets First Steel Column for New Tower

Athens, Ga. (Oct. 08, 2020) – Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center gathered this week to celebrate the setting of the first of many steel columns that will be the structure of the hospital’s new patient tower, scheduled to be completed in 2022.

“The single steel column that we set in place this week marks a significant milestone in our hospital’s construction and renovation project,” said Michael Burnett, chief executive officer (CEO) of Piedmont Athens Regional. “It’s a great moment amid all of the challenges our team faced these past months with the ongoing pandemic, and we’re very excited to celebrate the beginnings of our new patient tower.”

According to Burnett, the new tower brings new technology, new patient rooms and new opportunities for growth.

“We’re building for the future,” Burnett said. “Because we serve a 17-county service area, our hospital cares for the needs of patients in counties all over northeast Georgia, making it a vital part of our local communities. As the communities in these counties grow, our hospital needs to grow with them, and this patient tower gives us the opportunity to do that.” 

During the ceremony this week, Burnett, along with members of the DPR Construction team, moved the steel column to set it in its place, as bystanders celebrated the beginnings of the patient tower to come. 

Donors of the project also joined in on the celebration, including Julie and Michael Jenkins, who gifted the hospital $100,000 in memory of Julie Jenkins’ parents, Henry and Juliette Massey. Jenkins’ donation is for the new tower’s plaza or drive-up and drop-off area, which will be named Massey Plaza.

Manish Shah, M.D., was also in attendance representing Athens Radiology Associates, which donated $100,000 for the patient tower’s new café.

“In addition to celebrating the new tower milestone, we’re also celebrating our generous donors,” Burnett said. Their support has made this patient tower a reality, and Piedmont Athens Regional is very thankful for their support.”

With tower foundation now complete, the hospital anticipates the remaining steel will take approximately six months and plans to celebrate the topping out of the patient tower in spring 2021. The seven-story tower will stand six stories above ground, with one basement level, and the project’s total cost is $171 million.

For more information about Piedmont Athens Regional’s construction and renovation project and donation opportunities, visit

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