Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is gearing up to undergo a multi-million dollar renovation aimed at making the facility less crowded and better prepared to withstand earthquakes.
The Cottage Health System, which owns and operates Cottage Hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, is currently planning a five-year project to remodel the Goleta location. The project, which will cost between $65-85 million, is designed to help the hospital conform with new earthquake safety standards for acute care hospitals that were passed in California last year, Cottage Health System Manager of Public Affairs and Marketing Joan Galvan said.
Galvan said the remodeled hospital will include new programs and facilities, as well as buildings constructed to conform with the new earthquake safety requirement.
“Plans include an advanced wound care program and outpatient hyperbaric chamber, a new and expanded emergency department and additional imaging services and laboratory and pathology capabilities,” Galvan said.
The improved emergency room facilities will benefit Goleta and I.V. residents, as well as emergency personnel, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. Spokesman Sgt. Erik Raney said. He said the planned expansion will help the hospital meet the high local demand for emergency services. The emergency room is usually inundated on the weekends and holidays like Halloween with people suffering from alcohol-related injuries and illnesses, Raney said.
“Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is often flooded on the weekends with people who are there with alcohol poisoning or related injuries,” Raney said.
Cottage Health System is funding the construction, but is looking for donations from the community to help cover the cost of the project, Galvan said. Although the remodeling project will upgrade the hospital to conform with state standards, she said there are no state funds available to help finance the construction.
“No federal, state or local funds are available,” Galvan said. “A capital campaign asking for community support is getting under way shortly.” Galvan said the updated earthquake safety laws require construction on the hospital to be completed by the end of 2012. She said operations at the hospital, which admits approximately 2,000 people per year and sees almost 17, 000 people in the ER each year, will not be affected by the project.
“Services at the hospital will not be interrupted at any time during construction,” Galvan said.
Galvan said the Cottage Health System recently bought 9.5 acres of property near the current site of the hospital that may be used in the expansion project. She said the board of directors and the hospital management are currently reviewing architectural plans and proposals for utilizing the new land, but they have not made any final decisions about it.