Tour of the University of Florida Cancer Hospital
Its a place you don't want to go... but a place you want in your community. The new cancer hospital at Shands at U-F constructins began last year on the 388 million dollar cancer hospital on Archer road. When its finished, doctors will battle cancer using medicine-- and the environment.
"Its going to help people," says Abel Aportela the Construction Site Superintendent.
Coming from a family that has dealt with cancer, Abel Aportela is honored to lead the construction of the new cancer hospital.
"you walk inside to see everybody working. they come in with a good attitude because they know that what their building is going to help the community," he says.
Nearly 550 workers, many who live in gainesville, are involved with the construction of the 500,000 square foot hospital. They are working to make an environment where patients and their families feel welcome and comfortable during their stay. From the cancer patient resource center to the stairwell on the north side of the building, many areas are completely surrounded by glass windows to help people feel connected to the environment.
"When they feel better about themselves they usually get out of the hospital quicker, they feel more comfortable just having that connection to the out doors," says Brad Pollitt Vice President of Facilities.
A healing garden surrounded by colorful landscaping and a walking path is being designed to give visitors and staff a place to unwind. There is even an underground tunnel 42 feet underground connecting the existing shands at U-F hosiptal to the new cancer hospital.
"Its a very thoughtout plan and its being executed," says Aportela.
Shands has partnered with GRU to find a way to make the new hospital energy efficient. With the white roof that relects heat back up into the atmosphere and the energy saving air conditioning system experts estimate that the cancer hospital will save the amount of energy that 2000 homes use every year.
"When we exhaust air back out to the atmosphere, your capturing that cooling or heat thats in the building," says Pollitt.
A project that is making Abel Aportela-- and much of the community-- proud.
The construction on the Shands at the University of Florida Cancer Hospital should be finished by the time they open the hospital November 1, 2009.
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