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Rady Children's in San Diego gets to work on $1.2 billion pavilion

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 05, 2023
Emergency Medicine
Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego is building a seven-story pavilion
Nonprofit Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego is doubling the size of its emergency department with the construction of a seven-story, 500,000-square-foot Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Services Pavilion, worth between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion.

The provider, the largest children’s hospital on the West Coast, began construction on August 29. The tower will expand its ED room count from 46 to 86 and will house advanced pediatric, neonatal, and cardiac intensive care units, along with 140 ICU beds and four operating rooms. It also will expand space for behavioral health services and have flexible spaces that can be adapted for different purposes at different times as care models evolve.

It will be the hospital’s biggest construction project in nearly 70 years and is part of its master plan to renovate its entire campus over the next decade. Part of an existing structure built in the 1950s will be replaced by the new pavilion.

“We not only need to be sized and scaled appropriately to serve our community today, but we need to be built for the future to meet the complex needs of families in the decades ahead,” said Dr. Patrick Frias, president and CEO of Rady Children’s, in a statement.

Included will be a café and kitchen (level 1); radiology (level 2); ED (level 3); CTICU (cardiothoracic intensive care unit – level 4); NICU (neonatal intensive care unit – level 5); PICU (pediatric intensive care unit – level 6); a shell space for future needs (level 7), and a helipad on the roof. Each level will have a distinct regional theme of either high desert, low desert, or coastline, decorated with drawings of animals that inhabit these areas.

It will also have child-friendly areas; large, single-patient rooms with space for caregivers to stay; and outdoor areas with a park-like esplanade that connects the campus with landscaping, open spaces, and seating areas.

Rady Children’s already has 511 beds and serves pediatric patients in San Diego, southern Riverside, and Imperial counties at over 40 locations. It also is the only designated pediatric trauma center in the San Diego area.

Construction costs will be partially funded with a $200 million pledge made by Ernest and Evelyn Rady, whom the hospital is named after, in 2019.

The pavilion is scheduled to open in 2027.

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