CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -

Friday marked a milestone in the construction of St. Vincent's Medical Center Clay County.

A celebratory construction beam was put into place during a "topping out" ceremony. The placement of the concrete beam signifies the completion of the first phase of construction­­.

"This is such an exciting time for St. Vincent's HealthCare," said Moody Chisholm, president and CEO of St. Vincent's HealthCare. "The placement of this beam means we are one step closer to bringing our mission and our quality care to the doorsteps of the people in Clay County."

More than 300 construction workers were hired for the project, which began construction in May. The 64-bed hospital will officially open its doors to patients in October 2013. There have already been 14,000 hours worked to build the hospital.

With the opening of the medical center, the medical office building and nearby complementary businesses, the economic affect on the county is expected to be more than $52 million over the coming three years. The hospital project is considered Clay County's largest one-time investment.

The 147,000-square-foot medical center will include an emergency room with a separate family entrance and waiting area, along with dedicated pediatric rooms. In addition to the full-service hospital, a medical office building will be located at the site with various physician offices, which are expected to bring about 300 hundred additional jobs to the Clay County area.