Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Vacaville council approves Kaiser plans year for a 508,000-square-foot hospital adding 1,000 jobs to the 450 existing jobs at the medical offices

Vacaville council approves Kaiser hospital

By Matthew Bunk
VACAVILLE - The City Council gave the go-ahead Tuesday night to build a large hospital campus just north of Interstate 80, and Kaiser Permanente couldn't be more pleased.

All that's left now is to start building.

"We look forward to breaking ground," said Deborah Romer, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser, which submitted plans to the city late last year for a 508,000-square-foot hospital.

The campus will surround Kaiser's existing medical office buildings on Vaca Valley Parkway. When complete, it will include 150 beds, eight rooms specifically for delivering babies and a 24-hour emergency room.

Kaiser expects to start construction in May, although the facility probably won't open until 2009, according to a detailed timeline that accompanied blueprints for the campus. Construction costs should fall between $200 million and $400 million.

The hospital, the second in Vacaville, will add 1,000 jobs to the 450 already offered at the existing medical offices, according to a statement from Kaiser. It will join biotechs Alza and Genentech, both also undergoing expansions, as one of Vacaville's top employers.

More than just jobs, the medical center will improve the quality of health care in the city, Mayor Len Augustine said.

"Many residents in Vacaville and the surrounding communities will benefit greatly from Kaiser's decision," he said.

The City Council unanimously approved Kaiser's master plan, which was fast-tracked as an item on the consent agenda.

"We are delighted with the City Council's decision," Romer said, noting the facility will have room for future expansion if necessary.

Kaiser, which operates in nine states, has more than 240,000 members in Napa and Solano counties. It was founded in 1945 and began operating in Solano County in 1947.

Reach Matthew Bunk at 425-4646 Ext. 267 or

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