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New medical center starts to take shape

Hospital is Kaiser’s first local project in 40 years

Construction on Kaiser Permanente’s new medical facility in Kearny Mesa can be seen from Ruffin Road and Clairemont Mesa Boulveard. Staff photo by Glenn Grant

Kaiser Permanente is adding to its San Diego portfolio with the new San Diego Central Hospital in Kearny Mesa.

The 565,000-square-foot facility, being built on the 19-acre lot at Ruffin Road and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard where the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters building stood, broke ground on Feb. 12 with an expected opening date at the end of the first quarter of 2017.

“Since the groundbreaking in February, we cleared out the building obviously, the foundation is complete and we’re erecting the steel as we speak,” said Kaiser spokeswoman Mina Nicoletti.

CO Architects designed the hospital. The general contractor is Hensel Phelps Construction, and KPFF Consulting Engineers is also working on the project.

Mary Ann Barnes, senior vice president and executive director for Kaiser Permanente San Diego, said at the groundbreaking the hospital is being built based on necessity.

“Kaiser Permanente is growing in San Diego,” Barnes said. “We are at 528,000 members and it’s been part of our growth and geographic expansion plan to have a hospital in central San Diego. When we look out into the future, and our membership, we needed another hospital facility in this area.”

The seven-story building will feature 450 patient rooms with "telehealth technology," which is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications, including interactive screens where the patient can control everything in the room including temperature, lighting and video conferencing. Other new technologies include image-guided surgical and robotic equipment.

The $900 million hospital will also contain a 39-bed emergency department, a 1,400-space parking structure, a garden, cafeteria, walking trails and Wi-Fi capabilities throughout the campus.

Services will include surgical procedures, maternal and child health services, an intensive care unit, interventional radiology and a neonatal intensive care unit.

The hospital will be built with approximately 5,800 tons of steel, 38,000 cubic yards of concrete and 2.8 million pounds of reinforced steel.

Kaiser Permanente said approximately 1,000 hospital jobs, along with 900 construction jobs, will be created.

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