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EXACT SCIENCES CORP University Research Park

Innovation One, as shown in this rendering, will be a five-story, 138,000-square-foot building that will serve as Exact Sciences’ corporate headquarters. University Research Park is building the $60 million project on Charmany Drive.

Shovels bit into the ground last week at University Research Park as the organization held groundbreaking ceremonies to mark the recent start of construction of a $60 million headquarters building for Exact Sciences Corp.

Research park officials also released more details about the project.

Exact Sciences, a Madison company whose Cologuard DNA stool test screens for colorectal cancer, says it will consolidate employees who currently are spread among three buildings in the research park.

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The $60 million headquarters building being constructed for Madison cancer test company Exact Sciences will connect to the company's research and development center, shown here, at 501 Charmany Drive in University Research Park. The R&D building also is getting an addition.

The five-story, 138,000- square-foot headquarters building, called Innovation One, will sit between two existing buildings occupied by Exact, with a two-story link connecting to the company’s research and development center, 501 Charmany Drive. The test kit chemical reagent manufacturing building, at 441 Charmany Drive, will remain a standalone structure.

The new headquarters project will include preparing a site for a possible second tower, if needed, that would connect to an underground parking ramp with more than 300 stalls, University Research Park director Aaron Olver said.

“The parking structure is being constructed with a foundation and planning for a second elevator core,” Olver said. “Should Exact want to build the second tower, a substantial portion of the foundation for that second tower would be in place along with access to the underground parking.”

The building, designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, a Chicago architecture firm, will feature a curved glass curtain wall as its facade on the third through fifth floors. Its location reflects University Research Park’s new effort to give the 260-acre business park more of an urban, more densely developed atmosphere, with retail shops, restaurants and walking paths.

“This is the first catalytic project under our new covenants and we hope it will help spur other improvements,” Olver said.

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Joe Gaumer, lab service engineer, performs regular maintenance on a machine that prepares DNA for final analysis at Exact Sciences on Badger Road. Exact Sciences' Cologuard home test kit analyzes DNA in stool samples for signs of colorectal cancer. 

Exact will continue to build and operate its laboratory campus at 1 Exact Lane/650 Forward Drive, and its existing lab at 145 E. Badger Road.

Exact Sciences, whose Cologuard has been used by more than 1.3 million people since it was approved for use in 2014, is working with Mayo Clinic on a series of additional tests to screen for cancer, including a blood test for liver cancer.

The company, whose stock is publicly traded on the Nasdaq market under the symbol EXAS, has more than 1,600 employees, including about 1,200 in the Madison area.

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Contact Judy Newman at jdnewman@madison.com with tips and story suggestions.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.