The contract for the construction of a new 13-storey research facility was signed by Watpac’s Managing Director Greg Kempton and QIMR’s Chair Professor John Hay today.
Upon completion in early 2012, the Smart State Medical Research Centre (SSMRC) will accommodate 20 new research laboratories, increasing QIMR’s staff capacity by more than 60% to around 1200. The project also will benefit Brisbane’s local economy by generating more than 360 local construction jobs.
QIMR Director Michael Good said, “This is an exciting time for QIMR. The expansion will accommodate a new Mental Health Research Division, which will look at the underlying causes of mental illness, including schizophrenia, mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.”
“It will also enable significant expansion of QIMR’s Indigenous health, tropical health, cancer and genetics research. Another innovative feature of the new building will be the new Education Centre. Building on QIMR’s current education program, a state of the art laboratory will be used to conduct student and teacher workshops and a 120 seat auditorium which will allow for an extension of our public lecture program,” said Professor Good.
Watpac Limited was appointed Managing Contractor in October 2007 and commenced Phase 1 of the project in June 2008.
Mr Kempton said Watpac was excited to be a part of such a significant project for Queensland.
“As a Queensland-born company, Watpac continues to seek opportunities to assist in boosting the State’s infrastructure, whether it be sports stadiums or medical facilities.
“We believe the QIMR Smart State Medical Research Centre will be an asset to Queenslanders as the dedicated scientists and medical professionals will undertake vital research within its walls.
“This project will provide an opportunity for us to showcase our aptitude for constructing highly specialised, complex facilities, and we’re looking forward to delivering this state-of-the-art facility in 2012.”
The SSMRC will be erected between QIMR’s existing Bancroft Building and the Clive Berghofer Cancer Research Centre at Herston, Brisbane on the site of the old Queensland Radium Institute which is currently being demolished.