Construction Begins on New Sutter Medical Center in Castro Valley
CASTRO VALLEY, Calif., July 1, 2009 - Construction of the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley to replace Eden Medical Center has begun. At a groundbreaking ceremony, Eden employees, physicians, volunteers, officials from Sutter Health, and local business and government agencies commemorated the start of a three-year project to replace the 55-year -hospital with a modern, seismically safe $320 million facility. This will be the first new medical center in Alameda County to be built in compliance with the State of California earthquake safety law SB 1953.
“We are all pleased to see construction begin,” said George Bischalaney, President & CEO of Eden Medical Center. “Our hospital has served this community well for nearly 55 years, and with Sutter Health we will continue our tradition of quality medical care for another 50 years.
“When we celebrate the grand opening of the new hospital in 2013, it will be with the same hopes and dreams as those who celebrated the first ceremony in 1954.”
“These are difficult economic times for individuals, business and government, and for hospitals too,” commented Pat Fry, President & CEO of Sutter Health at the groundbreaking ceremony. Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to do everything we want according to our desired time frame.”
“Given the difficult decisions we face as a not-for-profit health care network on how to invest our limited resources in new construction, I’m very pleased to be able to convey to you that Sutter Health is fully committed to completing this important project for the people of this community.
“Our organization has invested more than $200 million in Eden Medical Center since 1997, and rebuilding the campus means an additional investment of $400 million. When we open this new medical center and place it in the hands of an outstanding medical staff and a dedicated and talented group of employees and volunteers, I have no doubt we are going to take health care to far greater levels.”
Visible Signs of Progress
Following approval of the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and issuance of construction permits by the County of Alameda last month, contractors have begun site preparation for construction, including foundation for the seven-story, 130-bed hospital and relocation of the helipad. Contractors will pour the foundations and begin building the steel structure this summer and fall — before the start of the rainy season — in order to move quickly to meet the State’s 2013 seismic compliance deadline. The project is expected to generate more than 1,000 construction jobs over the next three years.
“A construction project of this size represents a significant infusion of capital in the local community and will bring economic vitality to the area, both in new jobs and in support of local businesses that will be a part of this project,” added Bischalaney.
Construction fencing has been installed around the perimeter of the site. Crews also began clearing the site for relocation of the helipad. The new landing site is approximately 150 feet north of the present location, as close as possible to the Trauma Center. Grading of the new helipad site begins on July 2, and will take up to two weeks to complete.
Deconstruction of the vacant Pine Cone Apartments on Stanton Avenue has already begun. The structure of the building was demolished on July 1 and it will take about two full weeks to break down and remove the debris.
Meeting California’s Earthquake Standards
California’s hospital seismic safety law, SB 1953, which passed in 1994, requires every hospital in California to meet specific building safety criteria that would keep hospital structures standing and provide uninterrupted care following a major earthquake. The deadline for complying with SB 1953 is January 1, 2013. Under the stringent earthquake safety requirements, Eden Medical Center is not eligible to be licensed as an acute care hospital after January 1, 2013.
Therefore Sutter Health has invested in the continuation of essential health care services through the new hospital that will replace Eden, including the Emergency Department, Trauma Center, Neuroscience Center, maternity and other medical and surgical services.