Building boom

Posted: November 17th, 2017 | News, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Janice Collins

Scripps unveils plans for hospital campuses

On Nov. 7, Scripps Health unveiled a master plan that represents the largest building program in the health care system’s 125-year history and triggers significant construction projects at its hospital campuses across San Diego County designed to serve the needs of the community for generations to come.

“This is our vision to build the health care system of the future — starting today,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. “Our focus is on delivering the right care in the right setting that reflects the changing health care needs of the communities we serve across the San Diego region.”

Artist rendering of the replacement hospital tower for Scripps Mercy San Diego, located at 4077 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and finish in 2027. (Scripps Health)

Scripps Mercy San Diego

Residents of the Uptown communities will be acutely interested in plans for Scripps Mercy San Diego, located at 4077 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest.

Those plans include replacing the existing acute care building with a new 710,000-square-foot, seismically sound tower featuring 12 stories above ground and three stories below. Most of the hospital rooms will be private. Other work includes upgrades to the central energy plant.

Construction of the replacement hospital tower is expected to begin in 2022 and finish in 2027.

The plans for the Hillcrest campus nearly parallel those at nearby UCSD Medical Center, located at 200 W. Arbor Drive. The University of California San Diego will be building a new medical center in Hillcrest to comply with California’s Hospital Seismic Safety Law.

To read San Diego Uptown News’ article about UCSD Medical Center’s project, visit

Key goals

The Scripps master plan accounts for changing health care trends. Flexible space designs will recognize the rapid evolution of technology so that the latest equipment and devices can be easily incorporated into patient rooms, operating rooms, laboratories and diagnostic centers.

More care is being delivered on an outpatient basis at clinics and other medical facilities, so Scripps will design its acute care hospitals to care for the most seriously ill patients.Plans include state-of-the-art private patient rooms. Floors will be designed following best practices. Nurses will be placed closer to patients and will have more direct access to equipment and supplies, increasing their efficiency and improving their ability to deliver the highest quality care possible. Facilities will be designed to promote patient healing and comfort and will make efficient use of natural resources.

The master plan projects will be financed by operating revenues, borrowing and philanthropy.

“Community support always has been a significant part of Scripps’ history, dating back to our founders, Ellen Browning Scripps and Mother Mary Michael Cummings,” Van Gorder said. “We are thankful for that. We don’t receive government funding for these projects. It’s the generosity of grateful patients and others that has made us what we are today, and it will be that generosity that will shape us into who we become in the future.”

Chula Vista, Green hospitals

Seismic retrofitting the acute care buildings at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista and Scripps Green hospital campuses is part of the master plan. Retrofitting construction will begin in 2022 at Scripps Mercy Chula Vista and in 2027 at Scripps Green. All of the work will be completed prior to 2030.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla

Work at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will include construction of a new seven-story, 401,000-square-foot hospital tower. The new tower will feature a women’s health center, which will include labor and delivery, postpartum beds, a nursery, an obstetrical surgery area and a neonatal intensive care unit. Other projects on the campus include upgrades to the central energy plant. Construction of the new tower is expected to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2024.

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas

Plans for Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas include the construction of a new 185,000-square-foot, three-story acute care building. Other campus projects include the construction of a new three-story, 68,000-square-foot medical office building, upgrades to the central energy plant and seismic retrofitting of several other buildings. Construction of the new acute care building is expected to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2024.

The master plan also includes the construction of two Scripps MD Anderson outpatient cancer centers. One will be a new cancer center located at Scripps Mercy San Diego and the other will be an expansion of the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center in La Jolla. Work on the Scripps MD Anderson cancer center at Scripps Mercy will take place as part of that campus’ construction, while the timeline for the expansion work at the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center is yet to be determined.

In addition, Scripps will continue to focus on providing the right care in the right setting by increasing access to outpatient care conveniently located in neighborhoods where patients live and work. Primary and specialty care services will be offered through a planned 85,000-square-foot Scripps Clinic facility on Jefferson Street in Oceanside and a renovated Gateway 2 Building in Chula Vista.

— Janice Collins is a senior director with Scripps Health. San Diego Uptown News Editor Ken Williams contributed to this article.

One Comments

  1. Jill says:

    This article is missing some key information. Uptown residents will be acutely aware of these plans but you haven’t told us what they are or how to find out about them.

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