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McCarthy Completes Design-Build Master Plan for Expansion of Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in San Diego’s South Bay

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Utilizing a unique design-build approach, McCarthy, in concert with the Cuningham Group (formerly NTD Healthcare), has completed the master plan for the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, located at 751 Medical Center Court in Chula Vista, Calif.  Performed on behalf of Sharp HealthCare, the master plan creates a clear, realistic, constructible road map for a five-phased expansion of the hospital campus over the nearly two decades.

The Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center acute care campus originally was developed in 1973 upon the donation of the 32-acre land parcel.  The East Tower, which provided 139 inpatient beds, opened in 1979 and was augmented in 1989 with the Birch Patrick skilled nursing facility, which added an additional 100 beds for skilled nursing and long-term care beds.  The campus was expanded in 1991 with the addition of the West Tower, providing an additional 104 inpatient beds and expanding the hospital’s women’s health and emergency care services to residents of the south bay region of San Diego County.

Over the years, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center has continued to grow and become the busiest emergency department per bed in the County, treating 50,000 patients last year alone.  The key issues currently affecting the hospital’s ability to adequately serve the community’s health needs are the need to increase inpatient bed capacity and improve dietary services, surgical services, parking and campus infrastructure in an affordable manner.  The success of the master planning efforts to meet these needs is credited to the effective collaboration between the Sharp HealthCare leadership team, the design-build team and the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center management team.

“The selection of McCarthy with Cuningham Group as a design-build team was a novel approach to master planning that delivered a realistic approach to evaluating previous master plan concepts from the perspective of constructability, project timelines and schedules, facility disruption, and capital budgeting while also lowering costs,” said Pat Nemeth, vice president of facilities for Sharp HealthCare. “The process included weekly owner-design/builder meetings to keep all team members up to speed on issues and findings throughout the entire master planning process.”

The master planning process focused on seven main goals: 1) Define the key issues driving the need for expansion; 2) identify all site locations suitable for the expansion; 3) evaluate those locations for build ability and functional adjacencies; 4) create test-to-fit floor plan layouts; 5) establish the phasing approach; 6) develop a realistic budget; and 7) build a phased-approach schedule and timeline.

Based on the geological report, the entire team agreed to expand the scope of services and do a thorough seismic evaluation to verify the validity of four proposed site locations. This turned out to be a critical step in the master planning process, eliminating two of the four locations due to code requirements. The team then focused on additional factors that would impact their final decision, including image and identity for the campus, accessibility and access to parking, functional relationships to the existing hospital, patient flow, SB-1953 seismic compliance, constructability, cost effectiveness and disruption to campus operations.

“While the two remaining locations both had a direct connection to the existing hospital, site 2 on the east side of the hospital campus proved to have a stronger connection to the existing major diagnostic and treatment service areas and stood out as the optimal location,” said Randy Burns, design manager for McCarthy. “From there, the team created test-to-fit floor plan layouts that supported the identified needs of the hospital while improving patient flow, increasing operation efficiency and enhancing the patient experience.”

A phased approach to the expansion project allowed the design-build team to align Sharp’s capital expenditures with its primary needs. Phase I, proposed for completion by fall 2015, would ready the campus for the major tower addition. Phase II, targeted for completion in spring of 2018, encompasses construction of the new East Tower, providing an additional 34 beds, expanding surgery and dietary services, replacing the receiving dock and building a new central cooling plant.  Phase III, targeted for completion in 2030, would include finishing out levels four and five on the new tower to add an additional 68 new beds. Phases IV and V, also proposed for completion in 2030, would include upgrading the existing East Tower podium from SPC 2 to SPC-5, building a new West Tower to replace the existing 139 beds in the old, non-compliant East Tower, and decommissioning the old tower from “acute care service.”

The construction schedule was developed to maximize the value of the capital. Construction costs will remain lowered in the wake of the recession and the schedule will allow Sharp to take full advantage of those lower construction costs. By having taken a design-build approach to the master plan, Sharp HealthCare now has an achievable and cost-effective goal that had been left undetermined by the previously prepared campus master plan studies.

“The design-build team of McCarthy and Cuningham Group is grateful to Sharp HealthCare for the opportunity to be a part of this unique and rewarding master planning process,” said McCarthy senior vice president Bob Betz, who oversees McCarthy’s San Diego operations.  “The success of this master plan could only have been realized through the collaborative teamwork of Sharp HealthCare’s leadership and Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center’s management team, the medical design and planning expertise of Cuningham Group, and the insight of our knowledgeable design-build consultants.”

Sparling, Inc. is the electrical engineer, TMAD Taylor + Gaines is the mechanical and plumbing engineer, KPFF is the civil and structural engineer, Marum Partnership is the landscape architect, International Parking Design is the parking consultant, Dieli Murawka Howe is the food service consultant and Strom Entitlement is the agency expeditor.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of this campus master plan,” said Nemeth. “We now have realistic solutions that address our immediate campus needs, our future growth needs, and well as our year 2030 compliance needs.”

About McCarthy
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the number one healthcare general contractor in America (Modern Healthcare, March 2013) and the largest general contractor in California. The company is committed to the construction of high performance green buildings; progressive job site technology; and safer, faster and more cost-effective execution. In addition to San Diego, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Albuquerque; and Collinsville, Ill. McCarthy is 100 percent employee-owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com.

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