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UC San Diego medical campus to undergo $3 billion renovation

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 10, 2021
Business Affairs
UC San Diego is renovating its medical campus for nearly $3 billion
UC San Diego Medical Center kicked off 15 years of construction this week as part of a multiphase, $2.5 to $3 billion project for redeveloping its entire Hillcrest medical campus.

The campus is approximately 10 acres, and during this time will have new facilities and technology built on it to increase capacity and expand care. The first phase involves the construction of a 250,000-square-foot outpatient pavilion that is expected to open in 2025 and will house specialty clinical programs, including oncology, neurosurgery and orthopedics, ambulatory surgery operating rooms, gastroenterology procedure rooms, advanced imaging, infusion and radiation oncology.

Construction will be carried out in five major phases to reduce the interruptions and potential impact to the surrounding community, and to allow the campus to continue to see patients. The majority of buildings, both temporary and permanent, will be demolished and replaced.

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The project is outlined in the 2019 Hillcrest Campus Long Range Development Plan, said UC San Diego Health CEO Patty Maysent in a statement. “The new hospital will provide new facilities, new technology and increased capacity, while expanding care offerings and addressing the growing demand for specialty care. It will be the cornerstone of a modern medical campus and a premier destination for health care.”

Nearly half of the buildings on the campus were constructed before 1970. The new ones will be more modern, sustainable and efficient medical facilities and will comply with seismic safety provisions of the California Hospital Code, which enable hospitals to continue running during major seismic events.

In addition to the outpatient pavilion, the first phase will include the building of a 1,850-space parking structure by the end of 2023 that will combine patient and employee parking for better access. Another new structure will be a road connection at Bachman Place and Arbor Drive, which will improve community and campus access and extend First Avenue to the north to create a new patient-centric drop-off corridor. Included will be a new grade-separated bike lane. The Hillcrest Campus will also expand capabilities at its Level 1 Trauma Center, Regional Burn Center and Comprehensive Stroke Center through the project.

UC San Diego has had a presence in Hillcrest since 1966. Partially motivating its redevelopment was the hospital’s regional expansion in the central and southern county areas.

"The transformation of UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is part of an overarching goal to bring the most advanced science and research to our communities to help people lead better, healthier lives," said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. "The reimagined medical center will provide expanded opportunities for faculty, staff and students to use their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of our region through a broad scale of services and innovative treatment options.”

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