Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche has invested millions in expanding its Oro Valley campus to meet demand for its medical diagnostics, and now its employees have their own place.
Roche Tissue Diagnostics this week unveiled the latest phase of its campus transformation – the Employee Forum, a two-story, 45,000 square foot building that includes a conference center, an expansive cafeteria with rotating local restaurant dishes, a gym, a wellness center and meeting rooms.
On Tuesday, business and civic leaders joined hundreds of Roche employees in the cavernous conference center to cut the ribbon for the building, which had been planned for five years.
Jill German, who leads the site as president of Roche Tissue Diagnostics, said the new building was essential for connecting employees to the sprawling campus and was designed based on feedback from Roche’s nearly 1,800 employees.
“We needed a place where people could congregate, people could connect and be creative, and at the same time express desires for health and well-being, and frankly, that became even more pronounced during the pandemic,” German said.
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The new building’s 2,500 square foot fitness center is open to employees 24 hours a day, seven days a week and includes a large weight room, glass-enclosed rooms for instructor-led fitness classes, lockers and showers.
Next door, a wellness center includes a lab for processing blood samples and two exam rooms for performing physical exams or receiving injections and vaccinations, with a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and medical assistant.
In addition to the 4,000 square foot cafeteria with free coffee, the Employee Forum has a separate coffee bar near the entrance and the publicly accessible “Innovation Center” which offers interactive platform demonstrations. -forms of tissue diagnostics from Roche, including several laboratory instruments.
For business collaborations, the Employee Forum has eight conference rooms of varying sizes, and the main cafeteria can accommodate up to 500 people for events.
Roche, which has steadily expanded its campus on East Innovation Park Drive since the company acquired the former Ventana Medical Systems nearly 15 years ago, is looking forward to opening a new 60,000 square foot manufacturing building in Marana by the end of the year.
The new building will house Roche’s instrument manufacturing operations, while the Oro Valley campus will remain the headquarters for research and development and manufacturing of reagents – chemicals used in diagnostic tests, said German.