Celebration planned for groundbreaking on October 28 with U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa announced it will begin construction in October on the new Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i in Kaka‘ako on O‘ahu. The official ground-blessing ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 28, with keynote speaker U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, a longtime advocate for the Cancer Center.
The $120-million project will usher in a new era for cancer care in the state. When it opens in early 2013, the building will meet the Center’s need for expanded research space to accommodate the top-tier scientists that it is recruiting to Hawai‘i.
The facility will feature 150,000 square feet over six floors, most of which will be devoted to research labs equipped with the latest technology. These areas are designed to create “neighborhoods” within the building to foster collaboration among researchers. Other highlights include offices and work spaces situated to maximize natural lighting, and versatile work areas that can be utilized for meetings or seminars. Outside, a protected garden area will adjoin a large covered multi-purpose room ideal for hosting events.
Project manager is Kobayashi Group of Honolulu. Building architects are Shimokawa Nakamura Inc. of Honolulu, assisted by ZGF Architects of Los Angeles and Jacobs Consultancy, a lab planning firm in New York. Lead construction company is A.C. Kobayashi Construction, also of Honolulu.
“This is an important milestone for our University, but even more so for our state,” said University of Hawai‘i President M.R.C. Greenwood. “To reach this stage has required tremendous commitment from many partners. We are truly grateful, and looking forward now, as a community united, to watch this effort translate into the improved health of all island residents for generations to come.”
The new Center will be erected next to the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kaka‘ako. When completed, the two institutions will foster synergy for the state’s developing biotech industry and support interaction among organizations capable of creating novel strategies and interventions to combat cancer. The Cancer Center is also engaged in scientific collaborations on an international scale, from clinical trials conducted across the U.S., to programs in Guam, Micronesia and the Pacific.
“Cancer touches the lives of us all. As a cancer survivor and thriver myself, I know that research advances are critically important in saving lives here in Hawai‘i and beyond,” said Dr. Virginia S. Hinshaw, Chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. “This new world-class research institution will contribute to the health and well-being of our community—this is possible because of the many great partners committed to this endeavor.”
Last spring, the Cancer Center announced the formation of a statewide alliance with the largest health-care partners in Hawai‘i: The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawai‘i Pacific Health and Kuakini Medical Center. This alliance will create a pipeline to drive lab discovery into the clinical setting for the benefit of the patient.
“The consortium allows our new Cancer Center to provide patients access to all clinical trials here where they can be treated close to the comfort of family and friends,” said Dr. Michele Carbone, Director of the Cancer Research Center. “By working with our major hospital partners, we can share resources and build what each one of us alone could not.”
Public Can Contribute to Ground Blessing by Sharing Reflections
As part of its ground-blessing event, the Cancer Center is inviting the public to participate by sharing their reflections for the future. On a single sheet of paper, community members can submit a reflection of love, hope or remembrance about a personal experience with cancer, or that of a loved one. These reflections will be collected and buried as part of the foundation of the new Center, inspiring hope for all island families of a cancer-free future. Reflections must be received no later than Monday, October 25, 2010, and may be sent to: A New Beginning, Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i, Suite 901, 677 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813.