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In 2015 the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute recognized a need for an expansion of services. To enhance their quality of services and offer the most comfortable experience possible for their patients, they endeavored to build a two-story, 10,000-square-foot addition to house a fourth treatment gantry and accelerator, increasing treatment capacity by 25 percent and allowing them to treat more patients and target a wider variety of cancer types.
The new machine targets cancer cells with greater precision to limit the amount of damage to surrounding tissue, resulting in an improved recovery experience for patients. Expanding the facility to accommodate the new equipment meant adding a fourth treatment gantry and accelerator to increase treatment capacity by 25 percent.
The Institute has now realized this vision and is seeing the successful results of the expansion project. The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute now has one of the most versatile proton therapy systems in the world, and the building supports and enhances its ability to deliver optimal treatment customized for each patient.
The renovation and expansion of the Reitz Student Union, built in 1967, expanded facilities, services, and programs supporting the University of Florida’s diverse campus community, increased energy efficiency, reduced operational costs, and greatly enhanced comfort and functionality.
Phase 1, the 100,000 sf addition, included entry and food court renovations, meeting rooms, lounges, dance rehearsal studios, a ballroom, and offices and support space for the Center for Leadership and Service, the Department of Student Activities and Involvement, the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, GatorWell Health Promotion Services, and student clubs and organizations.
Phase 2, the 50,000 sf renovation, included new energy-efficient windows and doors, restoration of exterior surfaces and structural components, replacement and upgrades of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, and upgrades to interior finishes and lighting.
Careful phasing ensured that the Reitz continued to serve UF’s 50,000 students throughout construction.
Stuart Klein, Proton Therapy Institute
Gilbane Building Company
Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (MEPF)
Miller Engineering (Formerly Structural Engineers Group) (Structural)
EDA engineers-surveyors-planners (Civil)
ACI Significant Concrete Award 2019
The vision for the center has always been to create a space that went beyond medical treatment to facilitate healing and wellness. The design of this expansion served to improve patient comfort by obscuring the gantries, creating a less visually intimidating environment for visitors. The patient entrance to the gantry room is broad enough to accommodate stretchers, patients, staff, and faculty, as well as groups on educational tours. The entire treatment room features color-changing LED lighting and projected digital art that can be customized and changed to create an environment of compassion and healing in the midst of extreme technology and efficiency.
The addition’s architectural features blend with the original design, enhancing the facility’s aesthetics rather than diminishing them with visual inconsistency. The Proton Corridor has been central to the organization of spaces since its inception, in the original building design. In order to prioritize patient flow through the proton treatment rooms, the expansion leverages and builds on that organization and the design elements that have made it successful.
The expansion has greatly enhanced efficiency, patient and staff safety, and treatment accuracy, not to mention the clinical advantages gained by adding the advanced delivery technique of pencil beam scanning.