Construction for the Virginia and Norman Stewart Cancer Center will begin this year

A new cancer center at a Columbia hospital will be named for former Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart and his wife, Virginia.

Boone Hospital Center officials announced Monday that construction of the Virginia and Norman Stewart Cancer Center is expected to begin this year.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports ( ) the $7.2 million center will include 32 private patient rooms. It is expected to be ready for patients by March 2014.

The Stewarts have been active in raising awareness and money for cancer prevention.

Stewart, who battled colon cancer in the 1989-90, established the "Coaches vs. Cancer" program, which has grown to a national program that has raised about $87 million for cancer research and education.

Stewart was Missouri coach from 1967 to 1999, winning 634 games.