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[IMGCAP(1)] SAN DIEGO-The steel frame for the new five-story Acute Care Pavilion for Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego was recently topped out by McCarthy Building Companies Inc., setting the stage for the pouring of concrete decks and scheduled completion in the summer of 2010 for what’s believed to be the only dedicated child-specific medical center in the San Diego region.

The 279,000-sf Acute Care Pavilion at 3020 Children’s Way in the Kearny Mesa area, an expansion of the existing 248-bed facility, will house a surgical center, 84 medical-surgical beds, a neonatal intensive care center and a cancer center to aid in fulfilling the increasing demand for children’s critical care in the San Diego area, project head Tim Jacoby, vice president of facilities and construction for Rady, tells GlobeSt.com.

“It’s very much needed,” he says. “A lot of hospital construction has been done because of the Seismic Retrofit Act, but this project’s being done because we need the beds and the operating room capacity.”

The building has been designed specifically for patient services, with little administrative or educational space, Jacoby says, adding, “It’s heavily favored toward clinical. It’s there to treat the kids.”

Scant new hospital construction in the 1990s, a growing child population and increased acute care demand for aging Baby Boomers have put pressure on bed and facility space for acute care pediatrics, Jacoby says. Additional demand is created for child-specific hospitals as treatments become more complex, creating a greater “need to put the patients where the specialties are,” he adds.

According to Jacoby, Rady is the only children’s hospital in Imperial and San Diego counties, and the only such facility in California south of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. “Our operating rooms are stretched,” he adds. “We’re out of room to grow.”

The facility will include 16 operating rooms with support departments, a 28-bed hematology and oncology unit, a 10-bed bone marrow transplant intensive care unit, a 32-bed neonatal intensive care unit, and 84 acuity adaptable medical surgery beds.

The new Acute Care Pavilion, visible from I-805 heading north, is on a 148,650-sf site at the southeast end of the Rady Children’s Hospital campus, south of the existing Rady Children’s Hospital Rose Pavilion. A bridge will connect the existing facility to the new five -story building.

[IMGCAP(2)]A topping-out ceremony was held on July 25 when a steel beam signed by project team members was hoisted into the air, together with an Evergreen tree and the American flag.

“The next steps that were taking right now are pouring the elevated decks,” says Ben Meyers, project director for St. Louis-based McCarthy. “We’re pouring two decks a week.” Each deck constitutes roughly 14,000 sf to 18,000 sf of space, and that process will make way for work to be conducted by mechanical, electrical, piping and plumbing workers, he says, adding, “The trades will start about the third week in September.”

At height of the construction, sometime in May or June of next year, there will be about 550 people working on the building, he says. There are currently approximately 160 construction workers on site. “By August of next year, it will look like a complete hospital as you’re driving down the freeway,” Meyers says.

Employee-owned McCarthy also handled the design/build services for the adjacent 332,279-sf parking structure, with space for 1,039 vehicles on five levels, which was completed at the end of 2007.

The exact completion date for the hospital is set for July 15, 2010, and the hospital is scheduled to open that year in October. Meyers says the aim is for Acute Care Pavilion to achieve US Green Building Council LEED certification.

Designed by San Francisco-based Anshen+Allen, the building incorporates natural light and utilizes high-efficiency air conditioning and mechanical equipment. The building also will feature a green roof system that will help minimize the building heat gain and control the rainwater run off from the roof. Other building features include: a glass fiber reinforced, precast concrete exterior; dimensional travertine stone; storefront and curtain wall glass systems with colored accents; and metal panels, railings and canopies.

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