UPPER EAST SIDE — The steel construction of a new state-of-the-art cancer center at Memorial Sloan Kettering finished this week, hospital officials said.
The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering, a 23-story outpatient facility on East 74th Street at the FDR Drive, was "topped off" with the last steel beam on May 11, completing its vertical construction.
The building will now be fully enclosed and interior construction will start. The center plans to open its doors in 2019.
MSK officials and Koch celebrated the topping off by signing the beam before it was hoisted into the air.
“It is my ardent hope that the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care, will transform cancer treatment substantially, with the utmost emphasis on the needs of patients and their families," Koch said in a statement. "I am very honored to contribute my support to this important work."
Once completed, the Center for Cancer Care will have dedicated space for new clinical trials, radiation therapy, early-stage clinical trials and a slew of other programs. It will also have facilities for new treatments for those with hematologic cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, head and neck cancers and thoracic cancers.
The space will allow the hospital to perform bone marrow transplants on an outpatient basis and use more minimally invasive radiology therapy that destroys cancer without any incisions, officials said.
The outpatient center will also take care of patients with more privacy and better lighting and temperature controls, as well as have more space for community meetings, educational offerings, and room for patient exercise, according to officials.
When it opens it will employ 1,600 people and care for 1,300 patients on a daily basis.
"Memorial Sloan Kettering is in a position to redefine the way cancer care is delivered in the 21st century," said Douglas Warner, the hospital's chairman of the Board of Overseers and Managers. We are committed to ensuring that this facility will always be worthy of the distinguished friend whose name it bears."
Koch has been on the board since 1990 and has given $225 million in gifts and pledges. The latest donation of $150 million — the largest single one in the hospital's history — made it possible to build the new center, officials say.
Koch also donated $100 million toward New York-Presbyterian Hospital's multi-million dollar expansion that includes an outpatient center and a state-of-the-art maternity ward.