The cranes have arrived at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, marking the start of construction of what will become a state-of-the-art, acute-care facility with 52 beds.

Contractors recently began the process of installing rock columns deep into the soil to establish the support system that will securely anchor the foundation of the new building, ensuring that the building will meet stringent seismic requirements for many decades.

It will take about two years to complete the two-story hospital, which will have 152,000 square feet. Improvements will include doubling the size of the Emergency Department and expanding the Surgical Services Department.

The rebuilding project is unfunded by any local, state or national agency. Funds to pay for the rebuild will come from operating reserves, tax-exempt bond issues and community donations.

The Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Capital Campaign has started, with the goal of raising more than $10 million to support the total hospital rebuild cost of $105 million.

Community leaders Donald Anderson and William Peeples are campaign co-chairs of the fundraising effort, titled “Building Well. Being Well. The Campaign for the New Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.”

Assisting the campaign co-chairs are Susan Deacon and Thomas Frutchey, serving as co-chairs of a 12-member Campaign Cabinet. A 19-member Honorary Cabinet is adding its support to the effort.

To date, more than $2.5 million has been raised, including anonymous gifts of $1 million and $250,000. These have been bolstered by a leadership commitment of $350,000 from the Santa Barbara Foundation.

— Maria Zate is the marketing and public affairs manager for Cottage Health System.