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News Release

February 18, 2013

University of Hawaii celebrates grand opening of new Cancer Center facility in Kaka’ako
February 23 event open to the public includes blessing ceremony and science fair 

HONOLULU, HI – A long-awaited dream will become reality with the grand opening of the University of Hawaii’s brand new Cancer Center in Kaka’ako set for Saturday, February 23. The celebration marks the completion of a project that began back in October of 2010 and was completed $16 million dollars under budget and three months ahead of schedule.

The festivities will start with a blessing ceremony at 10 a.m. which will include keynote speakers Nobel Laureate, Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, AC, FRS, FRSN, Margaret Foti, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at the American Association for Cancer Research and immediate past American Cancer Society President, W. Phil Evans, MD, FACR.


University of Hawaii Cancer Center Director Michele Carbone, MD, PhD will provide the welcoming remarks followed by dedication speeches by University of Hawaii President M.R.C Greenwood, PhD and University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple, PhD.

Kahu Kauila Clark, who presided over the center’s groundbreaking ceremony in October of 2010 will perform the official blessing and welcome the public to Ka Ao Hou, or “A New Beginning.”

From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Center will host a family-friendly science fair which is open to the public. The fair will provide hands-on lessons about some of the research, diagnostic tools, preventative measures, and clinical trials being performed by the center’s faculty and staff. In addition, there will be displays by the American Cancer Society, free skin cancer screenings by the Hawai‘i Skin Cancer Coalition, hula demonstrations, zumba and more.

Free parking is available at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park while it lasts, and all day paid parking is available in the public lot adjacent to the Children’s Discovery Center for $3.

The six-story, 150-thousand square foot building consolidates all the center’s programs under one roof and provides world class facilities for cancer biology, prevention and control, epidemiology studies as well as clinical and translational research. The new facility also earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification, which means it is an internationally recognized green building whose benefits range from improving air and water quality to reducing solid waste, benefiting owners, occupiers, and society as a whole.

Designed by Shimokawa Nakamura, Inc. the building features a glass and steel exterior with large windows to maximize views and natural daylight to interior spaces. Throughout the building, numerous work and meeting spaces have been strategically placed to facilitate collaboration amongst work groups and takes advantage of spectacular views to the ocean, Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park, and Diamond Head. Finishes are sleek, warm and inviting with natural materials reminiscent of earth, sea, and sky. Landscaping is natural and free-flowing with native plant material suitable for the Kaka‘ako climate. There are two landscape gardens with pohaku (stones); one along the mauka entry and one along the makai entry. Sustainability is a hallmark of the building.

Other features include:

  • Vegetated roof surfaces that help reduce the costs associated with air conditioning, reduce the heat island effect, retain storm water, provide insulating benefits as well as extend the lifespan of the roof.

  • High-efficiency fixtures and occupant sensors to reduce electricity usage and potable water demand. In aggregate, these strategies will use approximately 28-30% less electricity and water than the use baseline calculated for the building.

  • 10 percent of all building materials are of recycled content, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.

  • 10 percent of all building materials were extracted, harvested or recovered and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

“I am truly grateful to the legislators, community members, university leaders as well as our own faculty and staff who committed their time and hard work in completing this facility which will service all the people of Hawaii, “said Cancer Center Director Michele Carbone, MD, PhD.

“There are so many people who worked together to make this building a reality,” said University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple, PhD. “The opening of this new building serves as a testament to the University’s commitment to combating and hopefully finding a cure for this devastating disease.”