New Cancer Research Facility Reaches Topping Out Point in Texas

By HCO Staff

TYLER, Texas—McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has hit an important milestone in the construction of the Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute in Tyler. McCarthy, the general contractor on the project, and its trade partners celebrated “topping out” in February. A Cottonwood Development project, the 85,000-square-foot research facility is located on the CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler campus and will provide outpatient care to surrounding communities. McCarthy broke ground on the project in May 2021 and is expected to complete construction in September of this year.

The Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute will consist of specialized areas for Texas Oncology, Tyler’s largest oncology provider, including 30,000 square feet of clinic space for medical, radiation and gynecologic oncology services, and nearly 3,000 square feet dedicated to research. These areas will also contain three linear accelerators for radiation therapy, 52 chemotherapy infusion stations – including six allotted to research – and four private rooms as well as pharmacy and lab services and a patient exercise area.

Within the Institute, CHRISTUS Health will have a 7,500-square-foot advanced imaging center with 3T MRI, PET/CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and more. An additional 10,000 square feet of clinic space will be used to support the surgical oncology programs of Louise Herrington Cancer Center, an inpatient facility located within CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler, providing advanced, inpatient care for complex cancer patients. The project includes a 620-car parking garage.

“We’re actively involving the design team and a physicist in our MEP coordination efforts,” said Tim Campbell, senior project manager for McCarthy. “The linear accelerators and imaging equipment have all required MEP infrastructure coordinated with the requirements of the shielding systems and owner furnished imaging systems. This has been a uniquely challenging project, and we’re excited to celebrate this milestone as we move towards completion.”

McCarthy self-performed earthwork for the Cancer Center and installed all underground MEP components for the tenant spaces ahead of schedule. This allowed McCarthy, which is also self-performing concrete for the Cancer Center as well as the Linear Accelerator Vaults, to pour the slabs-on-grade on schedule without having to go back to remove concrete for underground infrastructure. McCarthy had two mass concrete placements in August, totaling over 2,200 CY of concrete for the Linear Accelerator vaults. These are concrete vaults with 6-foot-thick walls and a 6-foot-thick lid, constructed of high-density concrete. Adhering to mass concrete principles, this required the use of liquid nitrogen in the concrete mix. These vault walls were poured monolithically in a continuous pour in order not to have any joints for radiation to leak through. Challenged with soaring Texas summer temperatures, McCarthy replaced all the water in the concrete mixers with ice to bring the temperature of the concrete down below 75 degrees at point of placement.

In addition to the Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute, some of McCarthy’s health care projects include the recently-completed Parkland Moody Center for Breast Health in Dallas, CHRISTUS Spohn in Corpus Christi, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Alkek Hospital Expansion in Houston, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center The Pavilion expansion in Houston, the Children’s Health Plano Campus, Specialty Center II, and the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Replacement at Fort Hood, Texas by Balfour Beatty | McCarthy joint venture.