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NIU Partners With Renown Architectural Firm VOA For Its Proton Center Design

DEKALB, IL- Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center (NIPTRC) announced today that it has finalized and signed an agreement with VOA Associates, Inc. for architecture services as it relates to the development, design, construction, installation of equipment, and acceptance testing of its cancer treatment center.

“We are pleased to be working with VOA in maintaining our commitment to provide proton therapy cancer treatment to the people of Illinois by 2010,” said John Lewis, executive director of NIPTRC.  “This state-of-the-art project will require immense coordination between numerous parties, and VOA has an award winning history of excellence as a leading design firm able to accomplish challenging ventures.  More importantly, they are already developing a proton therapy center at Hampton University in Virginia.”

The building to be constructed on 15 acres in the DuPage National Technology Park in West Chicago will be approximately 115,000 square feet, of which an approximate 56,722 square foot portion will house a cyclotron vault, beam line, treatment rooms, a research room, a control room, and other related areas.  An approximate 62,936 square foot portion will be used for medical offices and other portions of the NIPTRC.

“The project remains on time and on budget, and in fact, VOA has already completed many important pieces of the preliminary design and development of the center,” said John Lewis.  “Their preliminary work has demonstrated a clear understanding of our mission to provide patient-friendly architecture that creates a healing environment for patients and an atmosphere of learning for researchers.”

NIPTRC along with the Northern Illinois Research Foundation and Northern Illinois University have been working for years to bring a world-class cancer treatment and research center to Chicago’s western suburbs that will provide state-of-the-art proton therapy to patients across the Midwest.  Earlier in the year, the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approved the project.

Proton therapy is a non-invasive and precise radiotherapy treatment, and is particularly useful for treating certain pediatric and adult cancers. Unlike conventional X-ray radiation therapy, proton radiation does not do significant damage to the healthy cells around a cancerous growth. Proton therapy is currently unavailable in Illinois, and only five proton therapy centers are currently operating nationwide.

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