Major Berlin Projects Eye Completion Within A Month

BERLIN – Two major construction projects in Berlin are expected to wrap up in the coming weeks.

Both Atlantic General Hospital’s John H. “Jack” Burbage Jr. Regional Cancer Care Center and the new Berlin branch of the Worcester County Library are expected to be complete in early July.

“They’re nearing completion,” said Dave Engelhart, the town’s planning director, told the Berlin Town Council on Monday. “They’ve both contacted me about closeout procedures … They’re staying with their deadlines. The projects have gone well.”

Atlantic General Hospital broke ground on its new cancer care center in June of 2017. The 18,000-square-foot building is meant to provide patients with one centrally located facility for the treatment of cancer and blood disorders.

“It’s a beautiful facility and it’s going to really make a difference in the lives of our patients,” said Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General.

Franklin said crews were putting finishing touches on the building now. The parking lot is being paved and landscaping is being installed outside while crews are painting and installing desks and cabinets inside. Medical equipment is scheduled to be moved into the building next week and doctors are expected to begin seeing patients in the new cancer center June 25.

Franklin said the year-long construction process went relatively smoothly although recent rains did cause some minor problems.

“It’s hard to landscape a swamp,” Franklin said.

He said hospital staff and community members were excited to see the project nearing completion.

“We were fortunate enough to be able to keep everything on schedule,” he said.

A grand opening for the facility is set for July 11.

Though the grand opening celebration for the new Berlin library hasn’t yet been scheduled, Worcester County Library Director Jennifer Ranck said this week the branch would be up and running in early July.

“Currently landscaping and final parking lot preparations are taking place,” she said. “Inside the building the circulation desk is being installed and the flooring installation is wrapping up. Furniture and shelving delivery is scheduled for late June.”

She said it was likely the Berlin branch would be closed briefly as the contents of the existing facility were moved to the new building.

“Once we finalize dates, the library will announce when the current facility will close,” she said. “We anticipate closing for approximately one week to give us time to move the library books over and prepare the new branch.”

Construction of the new library began last June. The state-of-the-art 12,000-square-foot facility will feature four times the floor space of the current Berlin library and will include a community meeting room as well as expanded areas for children and teenagers.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.