Governor Linda Lingle has released $140 million to the University of Hawaii for the construction of the new University of Hawaii Cancer Center. The funds were released as preparations get underway for breaking ground on the new state-of-the-art facility on Thursday, Oct. 28.
The Cancer Center is a research organization affiliated with the University of Hawaii at MÄnoa. The new building will be constructed next to UH MÄnoaâ€™s John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kakaâ€˜ako, creating opportunities for collaboration and development of the stateâ€™s biotech industry.
The six-story building will provide 150,000 square feet of laboratory space, offices and interaction areas for more than 300 research faculty and staff. A larger research facility will help the Cancer Center maintain its National Center Institute (NCI) designation as one of the nationâ€™s premier research centers, and ensure the continuation of a $1 million per year NCI federal grant for ongoing research. It will also help to attract top-tier scientists the Center is recruiting as part of its expansion efforts. The new Center will open in early 2013.
â€œAs someone who has been touched by cancer, like so many women and men throughout our state, I recognize the importance of having a world-class Cancer Center that will provide increased opportunities to conduct groundbreaking cancer research, while helping to improve the overall quality of health care for our residents,â€ said Governor Lingle. â€œThe construction of the center comes at an opportune time as it will help create jobs for our residents and boost the local economy.â€
In November 2009, Governor Lingle released $28 million to finance the planning and design costs for the center. The total estimated cost to build the new center is $120 million. The $20 million differential between funds released and the project cost is for construction contingency.
The University of Hawaii expressed its appreciation for the Governorâ€™s support of the project.
â€œWe are grateful for this commitment to the people of Hawaii by the Governor, the Hawaii State Legislature, the health care community, and most of all, the taxpayers,â€ said MRC Greenwood, University of Hawaii President. â€œEveryone has come together with one goal in mind: to improve the quality of life for Hawaii residents whose families are touched by cancer. University scientists are working hard to understand why certain cancers affect our residents more, and to rapidly bring what we learn to the patientâ€™s bedside for more effective treatment.â€
â€œThe University is grateful to our many great partners who are committed to building this new world-class research facility,â€ said Dr. Virginia S. Hinshaw, UH MÄnoa Chancellor. â€œAs a cancer survivor and thriver myself, I know this Cancer Center will be critically important in helping save lives here in Hawaii and beyond.”
The Cancer Center, previously known as the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, has changed its name to University of Hawaii Cancer Center to coincide with the ground breaking and to underscore its public connection with the University.