Virtual Topping Out at University of Missouri

A virtual topping out ceremony was held June 19 for the last steel beam being placed at the University of Missouri’s NextGen Precision Health Institute at the Columbia campus. Officials watched placement of the beam during a livestream event from the site.

The 265,000-sq-ft, five-story facility will provide space for more than 60 principal investigators to conduct research in areas such as engineering, medicine, arts and science, veterinary medicine and animal sciences. The building will include laboratories, classrooms and innovative space for faculty, researchers and industry partners to collaborate. Construction began last summer and is expected to be complete in October 2021 by construction manager Whiting-Turner.

“As our communities continue to face unprecedented uncertainty and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working to address today’s urgent health care needs,” said Mun Choi, UM System president and MU interim chancellor.

Saved From the Wrecking Ball, Old Cook County Hospital Reopens

A 210-room Hyatt Place Hotel and an extended stay Hyatt House, part of the $140-million renovation and reconstruction of the former Cook County Hospital, opened July 1 in Chicago.

Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall, an eight-restaurant concept, is opened Aug. 1. Medical offices in the building will open later. SOM designed the renovation, and Walsh Construction served as contractor. KOO designed the interiors. In 2003, the county was planning to demolish the old hospital before a community effort led by Landmarks Illinois ultimately saved it.

Military Engineers Hold Virtual Conference

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) held their annual Joint Engineer Training Conference entirely virtually for the first time on May 27 and 28. All continuing education sessions and other content were streamed live over the organization’s website, Keynote speaker Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs fame, was interviewed by ENR Midwest Editor Jeff Yoders and incoming SAME President and Jacobs Vice President of Technology and Innovation Heather Wishart-Smith. Dirty Jobs will be returning to the Discovery Channel’s airwaves with the first of its “Rowe’d Trip” specials July 7.

River North Reconstruction Tops Out

Developer North Wells Capital and its affiliate Urban Innovations topped out their 306 West Erie reconstruction and addition in Chicago’s River North neighborhood June 9. NORR is the design architect, and ARCO/Murray is the general contractor.

AGC To Hold Annual IT Conference Virtually

Now in its 12th year, the Associated General Contractors IT Conference, usually held in Chicago, provides construction IT professionals a firsthand look at how to better implement and utilize cutting-edge tools to make their organizations more productive. Rather than cancel this year’s conference due to travel and meeting restrictions, the AGC is holding it virtually Aug. 3-6. Visit for more information and to register for the event.