August 30, 2010

NCI to break ground on JHU Montgomery County Campus

Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are among dozens of dignitaries who will gather on Wednesday, Sept. 1, to celebrate the start of construction on a $200 million facility for the National Cancer Institute on the grounds of the university’s Montgomery County Campus in Rockville.

Daniels will lead the list of speakers—which also includes U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland; Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute; and Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett—in a program meant to recognize the alliance of government, business and academia that resulted in the cancer institute’s decision to move to Johns Hopkins’ Montgomery site. The ceremonial groundbreaking, scheduled for 1 p.m., is expected to attract more than 200 people.

“This building is a concrete embodiment of the partnerships we are forging,” Daniels says. “It brings together federal, state and local governments with business and academic interests in a collaborative effort to advance science.”

The National Cancer Institute’s new facility will consist of twin seven-story buildings totaling 575,000 square feet of space on nine acres. The buildings are scheduled to be completed and occupied in about two years. The space, which will house about 2,100 researchers and support staff, will also include a parking structure and retail space. The environmentally friendly facility was designed by HOK architects and will be built by James G. Davis Construction Corp. It will be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and is anticipated to achieve LEED Gold certification.

“This new facility represents a collective investment in the talents, skills, creativity and education of our people,” O’Malley says. “In these tough times, it will create much-needed jobs for our families during construction, and its sustainable design will help our environment. When it is complete, the vital research and innovation that will happen here will improve our health and biosciences sectors and help us to secure a better, stronger and healthier future for generations to come.”

The decision to locate NCI, an arm of the National Institutes of Health, at Johns Hopkins was announced earlier this year by the General Services Administration, the federal agency responsible for the bidding process and selection. The JBG Companies will lease the land from Johns Hopkins, build the NCI center, and own and manage it after completion.

“In our view, [this life sciences center] is a blend of health care, biotech and IT interests that signals a vital future business destination, one that will employ thousands of excellent minds and imaginations,” Leggett says. “We are determined, however, that it grows carefully into a model environmental community that will be a desirable place to live.”

The Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus opened in 1988 and serves about 4,000 students, mostly working professionals studying part-time for master’s degrees. Four Johns Hopkins divisions offer more than 50 degree and certificate programs on the campus, which also hosts research facilities and business tenants whose interests mesh with the university’s and county’s focus on the life sciences.

To watch a live videocast of the NCI groundbreaking ceremony, go to