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Salinas Valley Memorial Board Plans to Award Contract for Important Seismic Upgrades

SALINAS, CA, February 12, 2009 - At their next meeting on February 19th, members of the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System Board of Directors are planning to award a bid for construction that will bring the entire hospital into compliance with state earthquake safety mandates, allowing it to remain operational through 2030. Senate Bill 1953 requires that all California hospitals meet stringent earthquake safety standards by the year 2013.

Construction on the hospital structure that was built in 1953 will begin in early March. The other 14 buildings on the hospital campus, which were built after 1972, already conform to the seismic regulations and will be operational to 2030 and beyond. The cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $25-million dollars, and it will be completed in the summer of next year.

Over the past six months, architects and structural engineers have been busy reviewing various alternatives and have worked closely with hospital administration on a strategy to meet the state requirements on a timely basis. The state is referring to this type of construction as "incidental structural alterations." Those changes will include building additional shear walls to support the hospital building. In order to build the shear walls for structural integrity, some buildings attached to the main structure will have to be removed. Several departments within the hospital will require relocation. Salinas Valley Memorial administrators would like to thank the public, staff and volunteers in advance for their support during this challenging construction project.

"Salinas Valley Memorial has been very innovative in their approach to this issue," said John Gillengerten, Deputy Director of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). "Because of the strong working relationship between hospital administration and this office, we were able to sit down and get creative with an approach to solving this problem."

"We are very pleased with the outcome of our creative solution, and look forward to bringing this to our Hospital Board," said Sam Downing, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. "We are grateful that the state agencies have shown flexibility around this issue, and hope that this unique approach we've helped develop may benefit other hospitals around the state who are grappling with these same challenges."

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Graphic illustration #1 of current areas that will be removed prior to construction Download larger photo

Graphic illustration #2 of proposed shear walls
Download larger photo

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