Construction started Tuesday for a $50 million expansion that will double the size of the Community Tissue Services Center for Tissue Innovation and Research — an expansion that will also create more than 200 new jobs.
The 132,000-square-foot expansion at 2900 College Drive in Kettering will more than double the organization’s footprint and will house 16 new clean rooms for additional processing, distribution and supply chain management of grafts of tissue, bone and skin used by doctors, surgeons and dentists worldwide.
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The center was built in September 2009. But its capacity was reached in just seven years, and although leaders initially explored the idea of adding just four clean rooms, they decided that any expansion would have to be bigger, said David Smith, the center’s chief executive.
“We need to be prepared for the next big jump for what we do in the future,” Smith said.
In the center’s first year of operation in Kettering, it distributed about 125,000 grafts. The center distributed more than 600,000 tissue allografts last year — and leaders expect to distribute closer to 650,000 grafts in 2018.
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The organization also bills itself the largest nonprofit provider of skin grafts for burn patients.
The donated samples are used to address traumatic injuries, spine surgeries, skin grafts and other needs.
“What we do enhances lives, saves lives,” Smith said.
The work of tissue distribution began in 1986 when a local surgeon called the center’s sister organization, the Community Blood Center, asking about tissue donations. Christopher Graham, the center’s executive director of business development, said center leaders recognized then the future possibilities.
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Frank Wilton, CEO of the American Association of Tissue Banks, said the local operation became one of the first accredited tissue banks nationwide.
“There is a special place in my heart for CTS (Center for Tissue Services),” Wilton said.
The expansion is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020. Most of the expected new jobs at the center will be in manufacturing and support fields.
The Community Blood Center in downtown Dayton at 349 S. Main St. will not be impacted by the expansion, Graham and Smith told the Dayton Daily News this summer. That facility is 110,000 square feet and has about 300 employees
Community Tissue Services operates regional tissue centers in California, Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Ohio, and two satellite offices in Idaho and Oregon.
In 2017, the center distributed more than 600,000 tissue grafts to 5,000 hospitals, surgeons and surgery centers.