UCSF to break ground on hospital this month

Construction of UCSF’s 289-bed hospital complex is set to begin by the end of this month, though concrete pillars won’t start appearing until spring.

Work to remove existing utilities and additional office trailers will begin at the 14.2-acre site, located in the Mission Bay neighborhood, said Cindy Lima, executive director for the project.

“It’s exciting,” Lima said. “There’s a lot of preparation going on.”

The official groundbreaking for the $1.52 billion facility is set for Oct. 26, Lima said. It will take four years to build the 848,000-square-foot hospital campus. In 2014, the hospital beds will be moved from the overcrowded Parnassus and Mount Zion campuses.

The project has been 10 years in the making, according to hospital officials.

The university is poised to issue $700 million in bonds by the end of the year to help fund the project. Another $600 million will come from donors, Lima said.

UCSF already has $375 million from donors, Lima said. The total was reached shortly after the university received the final approval from the UC Regents for the funding plans in September.

By December, physical construction of the site will begin when a crane that will drill 1,000 holes for the cement pillars to hold the foundation and framework to the building will appear, Lima said.

“That’s when we’ll be pulling up dirt, pounding steel and pumping concrete,” Lima said. “It takes a lot to drill those holes. The framework won’t start to take shape until spring of next year.”

Before construction begins, the university is working with contractors to make sure they hire locally as much as possible; the project is expected to produce hundreds of local jobs, Lima said. At the peak of construction, 1,100 workers will be on site.

Redevelopment of the 303-acre, formerly industrial site of the Mission Bay campus began in the 1990s. UCSF built a biomedical research campus in 2003 on the site, and dozens of biotech companies have moved in since.

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