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New proton therapy center will serve five-state region in Midwest

NCI-designated facility an addition to the University of Kansas Health System.

May 04, 2021 |
The new proton center in Kansas City, Kan., will open for businesss in early 2022.

The University of Kansas Health System's new proton therapy center for cancer treatment is scheduled to open in early 2022. Image: Hoefer Welker

Construction has commenced in Kansas City, Kan., on the country’s latest proton therapy center, which upon its scheduled completion in December will be the first of its kind to offer specialized radiation treatment to patients in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, and Arkansas. This will also be the region’s only National Cancer Center-designated cancer center.

The University of Kansas Health System will offer this service through its Cancer Center. It has received, and has started to install, the equipment for the proton therapy center, which is designed by Hoefer Welker in partnership with Stantec, whose design expertise in this typology includes the 135,000-sf New York Proton Center, the first of its kind in that state.

Hoefer Welker is also providing FF&E services, clinical space planning, medical equipment planning, and construction administration for this project. The facility expects to start receiving patients next January.

Also see: Equipment being hoisted and positioned into place

“Many cancer patients can’t receive this specialized treatment without traveling across several states to get it,” says John Castorina, Partner, Principal-in-Charge and National Healthcare Practice Leader with Hoefer Welker. “The stress that puts on the patient, their well-being and their recovery—as well as the emotional and financial stress it puts on their caregiver—is immense, and it’s something we hope this new facility can provide relief for. The capability to provide this treatment is a profound addition to our community and our region.”


The 38,200-sf proton treatment center—which would be the 38th in the U.S—is being constructed by Kansas City-based McCownGordon Construction and Fort Worth, Texas-based Linbeck. The facility will include a protective concrete vault whose six- to nine-ft-thick walls require 2,721 cubic yards of concrete and 377,513 lbs of steel rebar. The vault will house 160 tons of equipment.

Throughout the design process Hoefer Welker met with physicians and other medical staff to determine the needs of patients and their families. Those meetings included a “visioning” session that assessed psychological, sociological, and physiological impacts.

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