Steel Beam with Community Signatures Goes Up

The steel I-beam featuring several hundred signatures of community members was bolted into place at Texas County Memorial Hospital this week. 

In late May a steel beam for the TCMH project was painted white and made available for hospital employees and everyone in the community to stop by the hospital and sign.  The beam’s permanent location is located on the south end of the hospital’s expansion project, connecting the new hospital construction to the current hospital.

“This beam is symbolic of the hospital’s longtime connection with our community,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, said.  “Beginning in the 1950’s area residents raised funds and sought support to build a healthcare facility in Texas County.  Today we are continuing the mission of providing healthcare to the people of Texas County and the surrounding area and seeking the support of those individuals, too.”

The 59,000 square foot expansion currently being built at TCMH will provide a 13-bed emergency department and radiology suite on the first floor and a new medical surgical unit with private patient rooms on the second floor.  It’s the largest expansion in the hospital’s 54-year history.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation is also in the process of raising $3.2 million in a capital campaign project to build a new surgery department and a tornado safe room. 

According to Murray, current and planned construction at TCMH is part of the hospital’s strategic plan to provide all new patient care areas.

“The beam signing and its placement between the old and new construction was another opportunity for people to connect with TCMH,” Murray said.  “Just as everyone had the opportunity to sign the beam, everyone should also have the opportunity to donate to the next phase of our hospital’s construction.”

Currently the TCMH Healthcare Foundation has reached the $2 million mark in their capital campaign efforts, much through donations and pledges from individuals and families in the TCMH service area.  A little over one million in funds remains to be raised.

“Everyone directly or indirectly will be positively affected by this hospital at some point in your life, whether it be personally, a family member, a neighbor or a friend,” Murray said. 

Murray added that the local hospital has far reaching affects of employees at the hospital making purchases at local businesses and contributing to the local economy. 

“Just as everyone is affected by the presence of this hospital in our community, everyone should have the opportunity to be involved in and to support the hospital’s expansion,” Murray said.  “No gift toward the hospital’s continued expansion is too small.”


A row of beams connecting the new construction to the current hospital (this area will be a hallway when construction is complete).


One side of the signed beam.


The other side of the signed beam.


Andy Durham (age 7) visited the site with his mom, Joleen, while she took photos. He found his signature on the beam.






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