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Story & Photos by Scott Schaefer

Have you ever noticed when driving by a construction site how one day there’s not much going on, then suddenly the next day there are huge walls in place?

If you drive past the new CHI Franciscan/Highline Medical Center building under construction on 1st Ave South near SW 160th soon, you may notice that suddenly there are a bunch of new, huge walls in place.
Thursday afternoon (Oct. 15) workers raised 20 very large panels into place, which will serve as walls for the new building.
Workers used a 180-ton size crane to lift the panels into place, the heaviest one weighing 87,000 pounds. That’s 43.5 tons!
The panels – which were actually cast and made on site before being lifted into place – are between 7¼ and 9¼-inches thick, and the tallest one measuring 34 feet, 11 inches. The shortest was 21 feet, 4 inches.
The new medical center will be a 48,000 square feet, $27 million facility, and will include an urgent care clinic, a primary care clinic, and a women’s health clinic. It is replacing buildings most recently used as a warehouse for Highline Public Schools, as well as a thrift store for the Salvation Army.
Scott Schaefer donned a hard hat and bright yellow vest and took these photos (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):
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Also, here’s a video showing demolition of the site that took place June 17:
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