Thursday, February 24, 2005

Kaiser moves ahead - Council approves map changes for hospital

02/24/2005 07:53:21 AM

By Tom Hall/Staff Writer

It's been a long time coming, but a Kaiser hospital officially is on the way to reality in Vacaville.

The City Council approved map changes Tuesday night that will allow Kaiser Foundation Hospitals to build a 380,000-square-foot hospital next to its existing medical clinic in the Vaca Valley Business Park.

The council lauded the project. Mayor Len Augustine said the positive ramifications don't end at the city limits.

"This hospital will also benefit Dixon, Davis, Fairfield and even Vallejo as they get their new facility," Augustine said. Kaiser is planning on building a new hospital tower in Vallejo, which is where the only Kaiser hospital in Solano County currently exists.

The council approved a 60,000-square-foot expansion of the medical center build-out, which will allow increased medical office space and a central utility plant.

Kaiser currently has developed 23.5 acres of the 50-acre site. After the 200-bed hospital is complete, the majority of the site Kaiser owns will be developed.

Currently, the medical offices are situated in the middle of the development area. The expansion will push the campus north toward Vaca Valley Parkway and west toward Ackerly Drive. Parking also will be expanded.

While the health insurance provider currently has campuses in Vacaville and Fairfield, the nearest Kaiser hospital is in Vallejo. Kaiser also has two Sacramento hospitals and one in Roseville.

When the existing Vacaville medical center was opened in the mid-1990s, a hospital was planned. Because of several issues, Kaiser hasn't moved forward with that plan until recently.

Kaiser representative Hollis Harris said the hospital should open by early 2009. She added that the goal is for groundwork to begin in May and construction to start in December.

Dr. John Hills, who oversees Kaiser's Vacaville medical center, said the city has more than 30,000 Kaiser members within its borders. He said the staff is excited about that project because of the expanded level of care the company will be able to give its local customers.

Councilman Steve Wilkins said the new hospital will increase the efficiency of local paramedics, who won't have to deal with Interstate 80 traffic.

Tom Hall can be reached at

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