Research and patient care will be upgraded with renovations to the Massey Cancer Center and the Sanger Hall Pauley Heart Center on the MCV campus.
Earlier in September, VCU signed two contracts totaling $12 million for renovations that include modernizing laboratory space, procedure rooms, holding rooms and animal surgery suites. Office space will also be upgraded along with electrical and mechanical systems in the building.
Robert Houlihan, the director of research administration and operations for VCU Massey Cancer Center, said the construction for the cancer center was a little delayed because of additional permits, but construction is underway.
“The floor itself has been stripped out, and the demolition and reconstruction is currently ongoing,” Houlihan said.
The new renovations are on the second floor of the cancer center and will be about 10,000 square feet which will include a clean area behind a barrier for pre-clinical activity.
Houlihan said during construction it is difficult for the investigators to do research because equipment has to be moved around, but they are eager for the new facility.
“We anticipate by June 2012 it should be complete,” Houlihan said.
As for the funding, Houlihan says a part comes from a federal grant and the other half will come from the university after an anticipated construction grant didn’t occur.
“This is … funded through state bond issuance and the other is being funded through the university, which is assuming the bond requirements,” he said.
Skanska USA, the construction company that received the contracts, has worked with VCU in 2009 to make the Molecular Medicine Research building within the guidelines of LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC measures factors like water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and the sustainability of the given site.
They will work to achieve this for both of the centers.
Steve Stouthamer, the executive vice president and general manager for the Skanska Carolinas and Virginia office, said in a press release that the renovations are beneficial to the community.
“These projects will benefit not only the faculty, but also the surrounding community by providing care to heart patients and furthering cancer treatment and research in the area,” Stouthamer said in the release.
Sarah Jones, a junior at VCU who is majoring in radiology, says the renovations at both centers are a good investment for the future of medical research.
“I believe that research is the key to the future,” Jones said. “You can’t discover new ideas until you experiment.”
The Pauley Heart Center is still in the early stages of renovation, and at the time of press, officials from the center were not prepared to comment on the construction process. The expected completion date for the heart center’s renovations is August 2012.