Officials announced plans on Friday for a new cancer centre to be built at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

The new complex will include inpatient beds, cancer diagnostic and treatment technologies, an outpatient facility and dedicated space for research, the province said.

The Alberta government is teaming up with the Alberta Cancer Foundation, which has already committed $200 million toward the project. The cancer foundation will be launching a fundraising campaign in the near future to raise the money.

Its final cost will depend on what financing plan is chosen — which might include public-private partnerships — but Premier Alison Redford said the pricetag could be $1.3 billion.

Construction is set to begin in 2015 or 2016. The centre will be built where the parkade facing 29th Street N.W. currently sits.

"A new centre will help us better treat the growing number of patients cared for by our cancer doctors, nurses and support staff, and allow them to focus their energies on patient care, treatment and research," said Alberta Health Services President and CEO Dr. Chris Eagle.

Cancer is by far the leading cause of premature death in Alberta. Nearly 16,400 Albertans are diagnosed with cancer and more than 5,500 people die from it each year, according to the province.

The new centre will replace the Tom Baker Cancer Centre at the Foothills Medical Centre, which will be repurposed for other clinical services.

Cancer services provided at the Holy Cross Centre in the Beltline will be returned to the Foothills Medical Centre site.

The Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, which is getting a $67-million overhaul, will continue to be the main facility for the northern half of Alberta.

New cancer centres are also being built in Red Deer and Grande Prairie.

The province also opened the Jack Ady Cancer Centre in Lethbridge three years ago.

"When this plan is complete, nine in 10 Albertans will have access to radiation therapy within 100 kilometres of home," the province said in a release.


The new cancer centre will be build next to 29th Street N.W. where a parking structure now sits. (CBC)