House approves $31 million for new UM cancer center

Thursday, February 7, 2008 | 6:54 p.m. CST; updated 3:26 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Missouri House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Thursday that would appropriate about $31.2 million to the University of Missouri System toward the planning, design, renovation and construction of a new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

House Bill 2019, which involves the supplemental budget for the four-campus system, was given a first reading before the Senate after its passage in the House. Also included in the bill is $15 million for the Pharmacy and Nursing Building at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Charles Caldwell, director of the cancer center and a professor of pathology and anatomical science at MU, said the new building, which will be constructed adjacent to University Hospital, will pull together inpatient, or hospitalized, care and outpatient cancer care. The existing building, which is almost 70 years old, is only able to provide outpatient care, he said.

“It gives us access to modern and improved operating, intensive care units, and more patients,” Caldwell said of the appropriation. “It’s providing a facility where we can have state-of-the-art care available for all cancer patients.”

The proposal for the monetary approval and preliminary architectural designs for the new center was approved at last week’s Board of Curators meeting. Once detailed plans have been put together, Caldwell said construction of the building will take 2 to 2 1/2 years to complete.

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