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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Materials are removed from the Salt Lake Central Stake 13th Ward in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY — The American Cancer Society announced Wednesday that it has contracted with a local builder to make its newest Hope Lodge a reality.

The local landscape offers multiple options for cancer treatment, but patients often must travel long distances to make it to appointments. A Hope Lodge in Salt Lake City would provide a comfortable place for patients and their caregivers to stay for the duration of treatment.

"We look forward to uniting together to ease some of the burdens placed on our neighbors and community members battling cancer as we build a place of refuge, relief and healing," said Pam Higginson, vice president and Hope Lodge campaign director for the American Cancer Society Great West Division, which contains Utah and surrounding states of Nevada, Arizona and Wyoming.

R&O Construction, which will build the 63,000-square-foot facility at 100 S. 400 East, has had experience building health care clinics and nonprofit outpatient housing facilities.

"It is always satisfying to join a cause that will better the lives of thousands over time," said Dale Campbell, president of R&O Construction. He said it is "an honor" to be a part of fulfilling such an urgent need.

As one of 31 Hope Lodges across the country, the local facility will include 42 private suites and is expected to serve nearly 800 patients each year.

The Hope Lodge is funded by donations, requiring $18 million. Donors have already provided $13.2 million and the land was previously donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The 2013 Hope Gala fundraiser, hosted by the American Cancer Society, will be held in Salt Lake City on Sept. 26. The organization looks to its gala attendees to raise funds that contribute to the costs of building the lodge and supporting other community programs.

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