Carilion, Virginia Tech excited for new multimillion-dollar research addition

Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved an agreement with Carilion on Monday.

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - A new health sciences and technology research building is on its way to Roanoke. On Monday, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved an agreement with Carilion Clinic to construct the massive, multimillion-dollar building.

"It will give us new facilities, the latest technologies and chances to interact in a way that we haven't been able to do, and it will form a much tighter bond between Carilion and Virginia Tech," said Michael Friedlander, executive director of Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Institute.

Research areas will range from brain health and infectious diseases to obesity issues and cancer. The facility is also designed to work closely with Tech's Blacksburg campus. The veterinary college will have part of a floor dedicated to oncology research with animals, a partnership that both parties hope will benefit the physical and economic health of the region.

"We hope that this is going to have not only a dramatic impact on the nation's health and the area's health, but also a strong economic impact for the growth of southwest Virginia as a whole," said Friedlander.

The project will cost nearly $90 million. The facility will be built on Carilion property but it will be constructed under a public-private partnership between Carilion and Virginia Tech.

"The formation of Virginia Tech School of Medicine and the research institute was chapter one. It's meant great things for both Carilion and Virginia Tech, and we expect this building to reflect the next chapter," said Don Halliwill, chief financial officer of Carilion Clinic. 

The new addition could bring hundreds, even thousands, of new students and researchers to the area.

The new building will be located at the Riverside Center Research Education and Medical Park.

Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic are hoping to break ground on the addition in the next few months. The building should be up and running in about two years.

Copyright 2017 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.