CALGARY, ALTA. — Alberta’s largest infrastructure project, the Calgary Cancer Centre, is progressing on time and on budget, officials announced this month.
Crews have already poured 37,000 cubic metres of concrete – 30 per cent of the project’s total concrete – as they continue work on the centre’s 12-room radiation therapy department.
The $1.4-billion centre will require 125,000 cubic metres of concrete, making it the largest standalone cancer centre in the country. The province expects it to begin treating patients in 2023.
Calgary’s Tom Baker Centre reached full capacity in 2003 as cancer rates have continued to rise at a rate of three to five per cent a year. According to the province, 54 Albertans learn they have cancer each day, a number that is expected to grow to more than 70 by 2030 due to aging and population growth.
“All Albertans deserve top-quality, innovative cancer care,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a press release. “I’m so excited to see continued progress on the Calgary Cancer Centre that gives hope and increased access to care to patients and families in southern Alberta. We continue to fulfil our promise to provide life-saving health services in communities across the province.”
Notely added she expects the centre will create 1,500 jobs in the city over the next six years. Four cranes and about 300 workers are currently onsite with construction well underway on the lower levels, all five parkade levels and the first clinical areas of the centre.
Crews plan to continue work on the radiation therapy department which will require pouring more than 10,000 cubic metres of concrete and the construction of 12 steel and concrete vaults. Each vault will have 1.8-metre-thick walls to prevent radiation exposure. This will nearly double the current Tom Baker Cancer Centre’s capacity to treat patients with radiation therapy – currently more than 3,300 a year – to meet an anticipated 60 per cent increase in demand by 2030.