ORLANDO, FLA. - HCA Healthcare's North Florida Division and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine hosted a “topping-out” ceremony for UCF Lake Nona Medical Center today, marking that the hospital reached its maximum height. Construction crew, UCF College of Medicine faculty and students and guests signed the final steel beam before it was placed at the top of the building.

Slated to open by the end of 2020, the hospital strives to represent the future of medicine in Central Florida while delivering outstanding training for physicians. Facility plans include clinical research and a learning environment for medical students, future residents and fellows.

“Today’s topping-out ceremony marks a bright future for physicians, students and Central Florida residents.,” said Wendy Brandon, CEO, UCF Lake Nona Medical Center. "This is an exciting milestone in achieving our vision of a beautiful, high tech hospital of tomorrow, and a place of hope and healing for the Lake Nona Community and beyond."

Our new hospital is the next step in fulfilling the dream of creating an Academic Health Sciences Center that will enhance healthcare, education and research efforts in our community," said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for health affairs and dean of the UCF College of Medicine.

Layton Construction is the contractor on the project, which began in 2018. The 204,079- square-foot, 64-bed facility is expected to create more than 300 jobs when it opens late next year.