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Regents give UC San Diego permission to begin $2.5B overhaul of its Hillcrest medical campus

The project includes replacing a major hospital that has served the region since the 1960s

Gary Robbins

September 30, 2021, 3:22pm PDT

University of California Regents on Thursday gave UC San Diego permission to begin a $2.5 billion reconstruction of its medical campus in Hillcrest, a project that includes replacing a major hospital that has served the region since the 1960s.

A six-floor outpatient pavilion and a garage capable of holding 1,850 vehicles will be built during the first phase of the project, which will fully get underway in October or November.

The university will begin constructing a replacement for UCSD Medical Center in about four years at a cost of $1 billion to $1.4 billion. The plan also calls for construction of about 1,000 units of housing, many of which will be occupied by some of the site’s nearly 5,000 employees.

The entire project could take 10 to 15 years to complete, but will expand many services, particularly in the area of cancer treatment, the university says. Nearly 40 buildings will be removed, and many replaced, notably research and clinical facilities.

“Today we start delivering on a promise to the community that was decades in the making,” UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla told the Union-Tribune by email. “Improvements to existing infrastructure and a new access road to Mission Valley will ease neighborhood congestion and increase access to medical care.

“The redevelopment project will greatly expand specialty health care services and will further elevate UC San Diego Health’s already exceptional patient care and medical education. We could not have accomplished this without the input of our neighbors and the careful collaboration with community partners and the City of San Diego.”

UCSD decided to overhaul the entire campus because it would be too costly and disruptive to retrofit the medical center to the point that it met the state’s seismic codes. The hospital sits close to the Rose Canyon fault, which has produced significant earthquakes in the past

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