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Construction and renovation projects will meet seismic safety standards and enhance patient care


Sacramento, Calif. – Getting ready for “the big one” – a major earthquake – is a constant focus at UC Davis Medical Center. Seismic safety planning and construction are underway on the university’s 140-acre Sacramento campus to meet rigorous standards and deadlines.

Major seismic safety improvements, including demolition and new construction, are projected to cost the medical center an estimated $215 million over the next three years. That’s in addition to the new $424 million Pavilion wing of the hospital that replaced UC Davis’ aging surgery and emergency room facilities in 2010.

The work is being done to meet California’s hospital earthquake safety law. The UC Davis main hospital faces two deadlines. The North-South Wing of the hospital must be vacated before 2020. The East Wing must be vacated by 2030.

“The work we now have underway is to help us transition out of the oldest wing of the hospital by 2020,” said Joel Swift, chief of facilities, design and construction for the medical center complex. “We’re tearing down old buildings, doing upgrades to existing ones and building new facilities, all with a focus on meeting the state’s safety requirements and enhancing patient care.”

Swift says the current seismic-related construction is costing UC Davis about $120 million. The new “North Addition,” adjacent to the hospital near V Street, is the largest project. Six stories high, the building will house 12 hospital-based departments when it is completed next year. Its completion will then enable demolition of the oldest wing of the hospital, one that has been a familiar face of the medical center for decades along Stockton Blvd.

The demolition and upcoming construction costs for seismic safety compliance are expected to cost up to $95 million over the next three years.

Other medical center construction projects already underway include:

  • Children’s Surgery Center (replacement facility in the Pavilion wing)
  • Dialysis/apheresis facility (newly expanded treatment unit in University Tower)
  • Modifying other existing spaces within the hospital, including fire sprinklers, electrical and elevator upgrades, accessibility improvements, and improvements to patient areas

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