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New SFGH building on pace for May opening

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The new San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center on Potrero Avenue will house the emergency department, acute inpatient beds and operating room. (Courtesy Perretti and Parks Pictures)

Eight years in the making, the new San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center is on budget and scheduled to open in spring 2016, officials with the Department of Public Health said in a quarterly report on the project.

The nine-story building under construction on Potrero Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets on the current hospital campus — The City’s only trauma center — will house the emergency department, acute inpatient beds and operating rooms, among other functions.

The project is on target for patient care to begin in May, said Health Director Barbara Garcia.

Given some 5,400 staff will need to be trained to work at the new hospital and trauma center, Garcia encouraged officials at the Health Commission meeting Tuesday to stay on track.

“That’s a lot of people that we need to ensure know how the hospital works and getting to the end of the timeline. I’m really proud of where we are,” she said.

Ron Alameida, a program manager with the Department of Public Works, said the rebuild project is at a key moment, shifting from construction to transitioning operations and staff to using the facility.

Crews have already addressed construction challenges, including installation of an accepted fire alarm system, functional door hardware and adding information technology to rooms. Two challenges involving air balance in the building remain.

The $887.4 million rebuild project is on budget, but three areas are being closely monitored, said the department’s Chief Financial Officer Greg Wagner. They are personnel, information technology and operational expenses.

Hiring personnel is also on pace, officials said, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for December.

“That sets the tone for the next few months,” said Terry Saltz, the rebuild project director. “We’re very comfortable with the schedule.”

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