Hurricane Michael cancels Governor Deal’s visit to upgraded cancer research building

Georgia Cancer Center’s M. Bert Storey Research Building open for business

Hurricane Michael cancels Governor Deal’s visit to upgraded cancer research building
Georgia Cancer Center's M. Bert Storey Research Building (Source: Anderson, Jasmine)

AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - The Georgia Cancer Center’s cancer research building underwent a $62.5 million expansion and renovation project ($50 million provided by the State and $12.5 raised by philanthropy). That includes 72,000 square feet of new construction, 6,000 square feet of renovated space, a five-story expansion parallel to Laney Walker Boulevard, as well as a “connector” over Laney Walker Boulevard.

The Georgia Cancer Center’s M. Burt Storey Research Building will serve communities in the CSRA and beyond. It also pays tribute to a local philanthropist, M. Bert Storey, who was passionate about finding a cure for cancer.

“We want to be the beacon in the centralized area in terms of patient treatment, base science research, education and outreach," said Georgia Cancer Center Operations Manager Chris Middleton.

Looking out of one of the many windows in the Georgia Cancer Center’s newest building, you can tell Augusta University is growing. An expansion that was four years in the making is coming to an end. The center aims to become the second National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the state.

Georgia Cancer Center Operations Manager Chris Middleton said, “The state really figured out we need an institution that can satisfy the needs of the mid-markets, the Augustas, the Macons, the Savannahs and those rural communities. So they looked around the state and saw which cancer center was doing something to bring that standard up to bearing and they decided we were worth investing in.”

This upgraded facility opens doors for cutting edge researchers to partner with physicians - making clinical and translational research a possibility. Middleton said people who work at the center will have the ability to make new and innovative treatment for patients - where other institutions might shy away from it.

The main building houses the basic science teams with four floors of open concept-lab space, shared resources and special equipment, such as flow cytometry, radiation therapy research platforms and quantitative pathology imaging as well as administrative offices and meeting spaces for seminar, lectures, training sessions and community-wide forums on cancer-related topics. Each floor has a different focus of basic science – Biochemistry Molecular Biology, Tumor Signaling & Angiogenesis, Molecular Oncology & Biomarkers and Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance.

Total square footage of the new building is 222,000 sq. ft. of total space: 58,000 sq. ft. of laboratory space. The original structure opened in 2006 and was 150,000 square feet.

Governor Deal and other dignitaries were expected to hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting right here on Wednesday. That event was canceled because of Hurricane Michael.

The Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University is one center with five prongs:

Outpatient Clinic Bldg
Radiation Therapy Bldg
M. Bert Storey Research Bldg
floors within the Augusta University Medical Center
floors within the Children’s Hospital of Georgia

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