California Northstate University (CNU) received unanimous final approval from Sacramento City Council on February 15 to move forward with its medical center / hospital project, which was previously scheduled for Elk Grove.
With the approval of the board’s project, CNU President and CEO Alvin Cheung told Citizen this week that the hospital is about to open in late 2025.
“That would be a very reasonable deadline,” he said.
CNU had carried out a $ 13 million, $ 750 million hospital project near its Elk Grove campus in the Stonelake neighborhood. But after opposition from residents, businessmen and environmentalists, that controversial proposal was finally rejected by the Elk Grove Planning Commission last year due to the existence of that place within a 200-year floodplain.
After a subsequent attempt to build the hospital in Rancho Córdoba, last June the Sacramento Kings, in collaboration with the university and the city of Sacramento, announced plans for the hospital / medical center to be located on CNU-donated property by the Kings. .
Those lands, which add up to 35 acres of buildable land, include the vacant Sleep Train Arena, which served as the home of the Sacramento Kings from 1988 to 2015.
Within the approved project, the old sand will be demolished.
The medical center will transform this site in the North Natomas area of Sacramento into a mix of uses. Its features will include CNU’s 400-bed hospital, dormitories, a child care center, a residential care center for the elderly, and support office, commercial, and commercial uses.
In his Feb. 21 interview with Citizen, Cheung described the board’s decision as a “big step” toward meeting the university’s goal of building the hospital on the site of the ancient arena.
The hospital, which will include the surgical and emergency services and the teaching of medical students, will have in its first phase 265 single beds of private occupation.
Cheung mentioned that the demolition of the sand will take six months to complete, and that this part of the project will be followed by the classification of that place.
“We are planning to open the ground (in that place) in October, if all goes well after the demolition of the Kings Pavilion,” he said. “So I’m very pleased that it’s something we can all celebrate.”
Cheung said the demolition is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.
The hospital will be built at the highest point of the footprint of the ancient sand. The hospital will cover an area of about 76,000 square meters and the total area of the project will be about 730,000 square meters.
Cheung noted that the project will be larger than the site of the sand, including the central utility plant.
Cheung acknowledged that the university is taking an aggressive approach to the timing of its project.
“I know it’s a very complex project and a lot (opinion) on the street is that it can take a little longer,” he said. “We try to think positively; we try to be strategic in planning the stages, so that we can have the hospital fully built in that time ”.
With the pre-development part of the project continuing to move forward, Cheung mentioned that the architectural plan is 99% complete at that level and that the university is in the process of concluding its agreements with the general contractor.
He also noted that although the hospital will not be built in Elk Grove, it will still benefit that community.
“Elk Grove would be within the secondary service area (of the hospital),” Cheung said. “So in that respect, Elk Grove is still part of the area we’re interested in paying attention to.”
Cheung added that the CNU will continue its presence in Elk Grove.
“Not only have we been here (in Elk Grove) for over 10 years, we also have employees, staff and faculty, actually members of the Elk Grove community,” he said. “So we’re always here.”
Cheung stressed the need to bring a new hospital to the North Natomas area.
“Across the United States, we have 2.5 patient beds per 1,000 population,” he said. “California is only at 1.9 (beds) and then, in areas outside of Sacramento, (there are) 6.9 beds per 1,000 (people).”
As for teaching hospitals, Cheung mentioned that CNU’s Sacramento Hospital will join the University of California’s Davis Medical Center as the only medical institutions with teaching hospitals from Sacramento to the Oregon border.
CNU Hospital will become the tenth largest teaching hospital in California.
Cheung predicts that the opening day of the hospital will be a joyous occasion.
“To myself and the members of the community and also the leadership within the medical community, we all feel that this will be a momentous period in the sense that we are the number 1 to have a second teaching hospital in this region to strengthen access and also infrastructure.” said. “And then, it’s also a very exciting time for the medical community, because now we’re having the ability to attract more investment in biotechnology and life sciences in this region.”
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