ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was first with his shovel, and enthusiastic with his praise for the new biomedical research facility soon to rise in Roanoke.
"We'll be able to bring in even more of the world's best researchers on brain and other cancer issues," McAuliffe told reporters after the event, "but with that you will bring in small businesses so this will be an incubator for innovative companies, new startup companies will be attached to this facility."
The $90 million building will double the space for biomedical research on the Health Sciences and Technology campus in Roanoke, and expand the number of people who are pursuing cutting edge science there.
Carilion CEO Nancy Agee and Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands said they are just getting started.
'You can see from what's happened in eight years how adding just one more building isn't the end," Agee said in an interview. "This is the beginning."
"I'm looking forward to ten years from now," Sands added, "when we look back and see what this groundbreaking really meant in terms of the second phase of our partnership.with Carilion and with the city of Roanoke."
The groundbreaking ceremony also included recognition for two men who were instrumental in moving the project forward.
Both longtime Delegate Lacy Putney and Former Carilion CEO Ed Murphy passed away recently, and they were recognized for their influential role in making this project possible.