Home / Media / News Feed / News Details

Vaughn Supports Expansion at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Peter O’Donnell Brain Institute and Simmons Cancer Center

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern), one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, includes an internationally recognized brain institute and aims to establish new research programs and advance technology. As part of this initiative, UT Southwestern recently celebrated the completion of the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Biomedical Research Building and Cancer Care Outpatient Building, for which Vaughn served as the construction manager-at-risk.

2589-01_UTSW Brain & Cancer_Medical Imaging2This 590,000 SF project included the construction of two nine-story clinical and research facilities to support the growing clinical and academic needs of the existing Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. The new Peter O’Donnell Jr. Biomedical Research Building, a neuroscience research laboratory facility, includes three floors of research labs and shell space for a future vivarium and additional research labs. The new Cancer Care Outpatient Building houses segments of UT Southwestern’s cancer care services. To support these new facilities, our team constructed a new 1,200-car parking garage, a new utility tunnel, and new tie-ins to the campus’s existing utility plant. We also completed associated site improvements.

These two new facilities, which we constructed over 39 months, have already tripled UT Southwestern’s capacity to provide innovative cancer care at their existing campus. With spaces for multidisciplinary care, genetic counseling, clinical trials, supportive care, and private treatment rooms, the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Biomedical Research Building and Cancer Care Outpatient Building will help improve Texans’ health for decades to come. “For UT Southwestern, this project has grown their ability to care for ambulatory patients, as well as to continue to push their research efforts, ultimately helping the Dallas-Fort Worth community to a healthier future,” the Vaughn senior project manager explained. “In addition, [UT Southwestern] changed portions of the building to help support telehealth-focused environments, aligning with the needs of the community.”

2589-01_UTSW Brain & Cancer_Emergency CenterWe always look for opportunities on- and off-site to support the institutions helping heal the sick, make new discoveries, educate future leaders, and improve our communities—the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Biomedical Research Building and Cancer Care Outpatient Building project allowed our team to do all that and more. The senior project manager shared, “For Vaughn, this project helped secure our name on the map in North Texas. It locked in a healthcare presence that we have been pushing for over the last decade—it allowed us to grow and push for a new round of projects.” We have already leveraged our team’s success on this project to help secure new endeavors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, such as the Children’s Medical Center Plano, New Patient Tower, and Parking Garage project.

But getting this project across the finish line wasn’t always easy. “This project spanned over four years, and during that time, we encountered a lot of adversity. From COVID-19, record freezing temperatures, and monsoon-type rains, as well as some of the hottest days on record, there were plenty of challenges and obstacles,” the senior project manager said. “But by planning our work, communicating, and upholding our Core Values, we had a select group of teammates who meshed together regardless of what happened to solve problems, push, and ultimately finish strong, exceeding UT Southwestern’s expectations.”

UTSWM Website QuoteBeyond these acts of nature, our team also had to contend with the needs of the existing, active UT Southwestern campus. For example, before we could connect the new Peter O’Donnell Jr. Biomedical Research Building and Cancer Care Outpatient Building to the campus’s existing central utility plant (CUP), we needed to upgrade the plant’s capacity without disrupting service to the existing campus. To ensure we could complete our work without negatively impacting staff, patients, and campus operations, we first laser-scanned the CUP to verify equipment locations,  piping, and tie-in points. We then converted these scans into a Revit model for coordination. As a result of our careful planning and focus on meeting UT Southwestern’s needs, our team was able to replace pumps, chillers, and a cooling tower without causing service interruptions.

Despite facing several challenges along the way, our team delivered a successful facility that will help UT Southwestern continue to make advancements in medicine and provide excellent patient care for years to come. Congratulations to the team on a job well done!

Click here to learn more about the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Biomedical Research Building and Cancer Care Outpatient Building project.