The new Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at the University of Virginia opened its doors on Monday, April 4, 2011, bringing together UVA’s cancer experts in a patient-friendly facility with the most advanced treatment options. Designed by ZGF, the approximately 150,000-square-foot building for outpatient cancer care is named for the late Virginia State Senator Emily Couric, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2001.
(View a fact sheetabout the Couric Center.)
Gilbane Building Company, in association with H.J. Russell Company, managed construction of the facility, which is one part of an overall building program that also includes a Hospital Bed Expansion, new chiller plant, and facility connective elements. The building is slated for LEED Silver certification from the USGBC.
“This project was a team effort from the very beginning,” said John Taylor, Gilbane’s district manager. “Due to the complete redevelopment of UVA’s healthcare facilities, there was extensive effort in terms of logistics, phasing, and trade contractor management. We all worked together to create a state-of-the-art facility that everyone is proud of.”
Construction involved a five-story, above-ground structure including a mechanical penthouse and a one-story, below-grade facility, as well as demolition of an existing parking structure and coordination with CSX railroad to ensure safe operation of the trains adjacent to the site. Significant medical equipment and mechanical/electrical coordination was required to accommodate the specialized needs of the facility.
Katie Couric, Emily Couric’s sister and anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” said the center will offer patients “comprehensive, compassionate, seamless care.”
Designed to create a warm, welcoming environment, the building employs more than 21,000 square feet of glass to bring in lots of natural light and uses natural materials and colors. The facility also has a host of features – based on conversations with patients – designed to make treatment more convenient and comfortable. For instance, dedicated clinic space is set aside for nurses coordinating clinical trials to provide patients with easier access to investigational treatments. Designated exam rooms in the women’s oncology clinic have private dressing areas and bathrooms to provide additional privacy.
“The UVA Cancer Center is 100 percent about patients,” said Michael Weber, PhD, Director of the UVA Cancer Center. “We take care of the patients who are here today with skilled care, technology, and compassion, and we also take care of the patients who are going to be here in the future with groundbreaking research.”
UVA’s team of specialized cancer experts is supported by state-of-the-art treatment technology only available in a few U.S. cancer centers. UVA is the first cancer center in the U.S. to provide radiation oncology treatment with the TomoHD, which delivers more precisely targeted radiation treatments to patients and preserves more healthy tissue.