The Health Service Centre Is An Impressive Addition To Thunder Bay
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The Health Service Centre

The Health Service Centre Is An Impressive Addition To Thunder Bay


by Scott A. Sumner
   The Health Services Centre is the newest property for Tom Jones &  Sons. This just completed building offers over 100,000 square feet of  space for offices and is one of the largest privately owned office  buildings in the city.

   “ The hospital had an RFP for this project about two years ago and  we were the successful proponent. We started construction about 1 1/2  years ago and have our first two tenants moved in recently - Life  Labs and the Cardiac Rehab Centre. We are working on several more  tenants right now,” said Tom Jones, Manager of Tom Jones & Sons Ltd,  the property management division. Tom Jones Corporation is the  construction division. “ Personally I have been working in the  property area for over 30 years and the family has been at it for  over 50 years. We pride ourselves on doing jobs well, ahead of time  and under budget.”
   Jones hopes to have the building over half occupancy by spring and  then get it filled up in the next year or two.
“ I think it is a fabulous building with 7 stories including the  penthouse. All the glass and modern architecture gives outstanding  views. You can see the entire region from here including Mt McKay and  the Sleeping Giant. We are very proud of it. It is all state of the  art with the most up to date heat systems and a credit to Thunder  Bay.,” said Jones “ We can have general office non medical for a  certain percentage of the building but we expect most of the tenants  to be medical related.”
   Since the hospital opened Tom Jones & Sons completed their first  building, a 72,000 square foot building that is 100 % occupied right  adjacent to the main campus.
   If you are interested in an office space here Tom Jones will have  you meet with their architectural team and you can be in your new  office in a few months time!


      A very unique use of the new Health Services Centre building will  be to house one of Canada’s few cyclotrons. This elaborate multi  million-dollar machine is used to manufacture isotopes that are in  turn used to fight cancers. The cyclotron required some specialized  construction on this project.
    “ The concrete for the bunker for the cyclotron was finished  about three weeks ago. The purpose it to provide shielding so we can  safely make medical isotopes in there and produce the drugs we need  for diagnosing cancer. Also about half the basement in the building  will house additional cyclotron operations. They have been working on  the bunker for about 6 months now getting everything in place. It was  quite the logistic puzzle and the crew did a fantastic job to make  sure everything was in place prior to the concrete pours.  The bunker  has around 2.5 meter thick walls of concrete around it.” said Mike  Campbell Director, Research Operations & Director, Cyclotron  Operations for the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.
   “ It is a really complex project for Thunder Bay and anywhere. It  has been a lot of fun for the Tom Jones crew and us. They have had  fun with it and we have enjoyed working on it. The radiation  shielding makes it complex. The bunker is where the cyclotron lives.  We take that radioactive material and send it into the labs in the  building where you make a pharmaceutical product that will be pumped 
into the patient.”
    The isotopes are primarily used for diagnosing cancer.
  There will be around 12 to 16 staff making the isotopes and another  12 to 16 doing research after start up. The cyclotron cost it is 
around $4 million with many other millions of cost in the other set  up required to operate.
    “ We chose a cyclotron unit that would make isotopes that have  slighter longer life so we can ship them out to parts of Canada and  then the US down the road. Our business plan is to be a provider of  isotopes.  We will be able to produce roughly 1/10 of Canada’s 
isotope needs.” said Campbell.
    There are three other cyclotrons like this going in for a total  of 5 in Canada. Advance Cyclotron of Vancouver made the unit.
   “ The cyclotron timing is opportune as Chauk River is scheduled to  shut down and we need isotopes. We can now make the isotopes in  Thunder Bay. If there is a snowstorm we currently get our isotopes  from Hamilton    and sometimes we can’t get them up here. We will now  have them on site,” said Peter Myllymaa, Executive VP, Corporate  Services & Operations- TBRHSC. “  The other advantage is because of  the life of the isotopes less doses may be required because they are  produced here. You have guaranteed supply and need less product 
injected because it is produced right there.”
    Myllymaa pointed out it is a big investment but we have had some  great partners including the City of Thunder Bay, Ontario’s NOHFC  program, the Federal Fednor program, the TBRHSC Foundation and  others. They see the value in this type of investment as Thunder Bay  moves more towards knowledge based economy.
“ This building gives us the opportunity for further growth. It is an  exciting project for the hospital and others in the community.”

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