Plans unveiled for new cancer center

Preliminary plans for a new cancer center at the medical center's Omaha campus were announced today by leaders from UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center.

picture disc.
An artist's rendering of the new cancer center on the Omaha campus.
The project is the largest ever proposed for the medical center, leaders said.

"This is a transformational project for all Nebraskans," said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D. "These facilities will not only benefit our clinicians and researchers but most importantly, patients."

A multi-faceted center

The new cancer center would be built on the west side of campus. Initial plans call for three facilities:

  • A multidisciplinary outpatient clinic;
  • A 98-lab research tower; and
  • A hospital tower with 108 beds dedicated to oncology patients.

The new project will require the demolition of Swanson Hall and the parking structure to its south. New parking structures are in the design for the new cancer center.

Plans also call for construction of an ambulatory care clinic near 42nd and Farnam streets to provide outpatient space for programs outside of cancer.

A universitywide initiative

Early estimates indicate the cancer project would cost about $370 million. More than 85 percent of the costs are expected to come from private funds.

The University of Nebraska seeks $50 million from the state to support construction of the cancer research tower as part of the University of Nebraska's "Building a Healthier Nebraska" initiative, which NU President James B. Milliken launched Wednesday.

Beyond cancer

Through the initiative, NU seeks $91 million from the state's $421 million cash reserve fund to support projects that also include:

  • A new $17 million College of Nursing facility in Lincoln;
  • A $19 million, 30,000-square-foot addition to the Bruner Hall of Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney to provide space for health sciences education programs; and
  • Planning and design funds for a new Veterinary Diagnostic Center at Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

More about the UNMC-related projects will be featured in Thursday's UNMC Today.

Construction dates have not been set for any of the projects.

Comprehensive cancer care

The new cancer facility in Omaha would help the medical center in its goal to become a National Institutes of Health Comprehensive Cancer Center by 2020.

Presently only 40 NIH Comprehensive Cancer Centers exist.

Economic impact

Medical center leaders expect the cancer project will create about 1,200 new jobs by 2020 and infuse $100 million annually into Nebraska's economy.

"Nebraska has an opportunity to make an investment now that will serve the people of the state well into the future," Milliken said.


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Rod Bowder
January 18, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Its encouraging to see plans for progress as we climb out of this recession

January 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

WOW UNMC IS AMAZING! I love this place!