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Carolinas HealthCare begins construction on Levine Cancer Institute

Construction began this morning on a $31 million, five-story, 171,285-square-foot addition to Carolinas HealthCare System’s Morehead Medical Plaza II building, which will house the headquarters of the Levine Cancer Institute.

The addition will go atop the one-story building at 1021 Morehead Medical Drive in Charlotte, making it six stories. It will also house research and treatment facilities.

Charlotte-based Rodgers Builders is the contractor.

The addition is expected to be ready for occupancy in late 2012.

CHS said that while the institute will be headquartered in the addition, the institute will function as a series of integrated units throughout CHS. It will be focused on innovations in cancer treatment and work with CHS-affiliated organizations to enhance the quality and convenience of cancer care, CHS said.

“People have asked whether the new facility in Charlotte will serve as a kind of ‘brain center.’ The answer is no,” Dr. Derek Raghavan, who will take over as president of the institute April 4, said in a statement. “We will certainly be a center for communications and information-sharing, but the brainpower is and will remain well-distributed geographically among our affiliated treatment facilities throughout the Carolinas.”

The institute, announced in October, is being funded in part by a $20 million donation from the Leon Levine Foundation.

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