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Construction behind by six weeks but moving forward on cancer center at CHMC

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Work to expand the Richard E. Winter Cancer Treatment Center at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center has largely continued despite frigid weather conditions, but construction is still six weeks behind schedule thanks to Mother Nature.

Claxton-Hepburn spokeswoman Laura C. Shea said officials expect the project to be complete in early May. Subzero temperatures have not stopped work, but have slowed progress, she said.

“They have a fair bit of work yet to do,” Mrs. Shea said of the $4.2 million project at 214 King St.

When it’s completed, the 3,264 square-foot expansion will have seven-foot thick concrete walls in parts of the building to prevent unintended radiation exposure from cancer treatments.

On Friday construction crews were pouring concrete for the walls.

Shawn Hubbard with Graymont Materials Group said the trick to pouring concrete in single-digit temperatures is, “You use a lot of hot water and you better be quick.”

The finished cancer center will expand into the parking lot near the corner of Mansion Avenue and Ogden Street.

The project was started in September.

At the heart of the expansion will be a Trilogy linear accelerator that will give the cancer treatment center the capability to target specific cancer cells and deliver high doses of radiation to them while not damaging nearby healthy cells.

The hope is to cut down the amount of time cancer patients spend receiving radiation treatment.

“It’s an impressive piece of construction that has to go into making that unit,” Mrs. Shea said.

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