Avera McKennan is embarking on a massive project with the construction of a new Avera Cancer Institute. We update you on the single biggest building project in the history of Sioux Falls.
The SE corner of the Avera McKennan campus is a construction zone. When Sioux Falls Construction is done, the new Avera Cancer Institute will be a block long, 5 stories high and 4 times bigger than the current facility. They've already poured enough concrete to fill 8 miles of sidewalk and they are still working below ground.
Wayne Bauer is the Project Supervisor with Sioux Falls Construction. He also oversaw work on the Avera Heart Hospital, Orthopedic Institute and Avera Behavioral Health buildings. He says, "There's going to be close to 2,000 tons of structural steel, over 10,000 cubic yards of concrete poured here and 1100 tons of reinforcing steel."
Even more important than the size are the services that will be provided for an aging population of baby boomers.
Dick Molseed, Senior Vice President of Environmental Services with Avera McKennan says, "Cancer is going to become the number one killer, disease in the very near future and as we've addressed issues with the Avera Heart Institute and Orthopedic Institute, it's time to address cancer and bring a world class unique cancer care center to the upper plains."
Being surrounded by buildings, made building here a challenge for Bauer and his crew. He had to two huge tower cranes from a company out of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Bauer says, "They can pick up almost 7,000 pounds out at 250 feet from the center."
Responsible for the erection of the building, the tallest crane is 158 feet tall and the only way for the operator to get up there is manpower.
Bauer says, "Yeah it's scary and quite a climb for the operator each day."
The new Cancer Institute will be an integrated, comprehensive cancer center with all the services needed by cancer patients under one roof... from bedrock to rooftop in two years. It's scheduled to be open in the fall of 2010 and cost $90 million. The 4th floor will be open before that.