New 10-story, $100M Kimmel Cancer Center building to rise in East Baltimore

Groundbreaking for Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building set for Thursday

Image caption: Artist's rendering of the new 10-story Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building to be built at the northeast corner of Fayette Street and North Broadway in East Baltimore.

Image credit: Ayers Saint Gross Architects

The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will break ground Thursday on a new $100 million, 184,000-square-foot cancer care building at one of the highest elevations in East Baltimore. The building, slated to open in late 2017, is named for Albert P. "Skip" Viragh Jr., a Maryland mutual fund investment leader, philanthropist, and pancreatic cancer patient treated at Johns Hopkins who died of the disease in 2003 at age 62.

The Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building will provide clinical services to patients with solid tumors, accounting for more than 180 current patients daily and 60 to 80 new patients each week. It will also house diagnostic and treatment planning services for new patients as well as multidisciplinary clinics that are modeled on one established by the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care, where patients benefit from a wide range of coordinated surgical, medical, radiation, and other consultations and services provided in one- to two-day visits.

The building will be located at the northeast corner of Fayette Street and North Broadway. The 10th floor of the building will be the site of the Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center, which includes breast health services such as nutritional counseling, fitness evaluation, and survivorship services.

Plans for the Skip Viragh Building will free up space in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, the current clinical facility for the Kimmel Cancer Center, to expand outpatient services for patients with blood and bone marrow cancers, inpatient cancer treatment, and 24-hour oncology urgent care.

One of 45 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S., the Kimmel Cancer Center is the only such center in Maryland. Its sites within Maryland and Washington, D.C., serve approximately 10,000 new cancer patients each year.

Funding for the building is provided entirely by philanthropy, including a $65 million gift to honor Skip Viragh and a $10 million gift from Under Armour, both part of Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins, an effort to raise $4.5 billion, primarily to support students, research and discovery, and interdisciplinary solutions to some of humanity's most important problems. The campaign, supporting both the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine, began its quiet phase in January 2010, was publicly launched in May 2013, and is targeted for completion in 2017. More than $3.299 billion has been committed so far.