Skip to main content
‘It takes a lot of hard work’
A contruction worker on a crane continues the work on the expansion of the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham in late March 2019..jpg
A worker on a crane continues the work on the expansion of the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham in late March 2019.

‘It takes a lot of hard work’

By Alan Jenkins on April 16, 2019

The entire Upstate is watching the future of cancer care rise in Greer, S.C., as construction continues on the expansion of the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham

Gibbs leaders are looking at another future … one that's much closer. As construction work aims for the crucial target of finishing the shell of the building, experts are already examining how equipment will be moved in and staff will be assigned throughout the building.

The logistics of expanding cancer care require a lot of painstaking detail and hard work from many different people, according to David Church, DHA, vice president of oncology and support services at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute.

“It takes a lot of hard work, and it all has to be done the absolute best,” Church said. “We're building the future of cancer care, and it's going to serve generations of people to come.” 

The $72 million, 190,000-square-foot expansion of the cancer center, which is a division of Spartanburg Medical Center, is slated to open in spring 2020. Construction efforts are both on time and on budget, Church said.

What happens in a building like this when work transitions from construction to logistics?

IT work

Spartanburg Regional information technology experts will work with vendors and administrative staff to install computers and medical equipment.

Technology plays a core role in cancer care. Computers access medical records, clinical trial data from across the country, and genomic sequencing data that helps determine the best way to treat a tumor.


Keeping lines of communication open are crucial as part of Gibbs' multidisciplinary approach to care. In this method, each case is discussed between a team of doctors who help determine the best route for care.

“Multidisciplinary care is at the heart of every patient's treatment,” said Michael Starnes, director of radiation oncology and oncology clinical performance.

That means making sure there's plenty of work space for doctors and care experts to consult, and technology in place for seamless communications. From inception, the building was designed to accommodate this approach.


Interior design experts will implement plans to ensure a tranquil, soothing environment for patients and their families.

Aesthetics have always been a key component for Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. Designs may include popular features seen at the center's Spartanburg campus.

In the dry

Before this work begins, the building must be “in the dry,” a term meaning that the shell of the building is completely closed off from the elements. In other words, rain can't get into the building.

That milestone looms in the next month or so … but planning for what happens after that day has been happening ever since construction began, Church said.

After the opening

When opening day comes in spring 2020, patients will be able to drive in via Interstate 85 if they live close by or fly in via Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

A full complement of services will be available to all patients at Gibbs at Pelham:

  • Surgical oncology
  • Medical oncology
  • Radiation oncology
  • Oncology research
  • Oncology rehabilitation services
  • Patient navigation
  • Infusion
  • Comprehensive lab services
  • Pharmacy
  • Integrative medicine

Follow the expansion progress here, thanks to a live construction feed provided courtesy of Vannoy Construction: