Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 3:44 am | Overcast 64º


Local News

New Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital One Step Closer to Reality

The facility gets an iconic new look and layout, and the Goleta City Council is expected to take up the project next month

The Goleta Planning Commission has reviewed plans for the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, moving the project forward on its way to breaking ground later this year.

“The community is very fortunate that Cottage Health System was able to make the decision to rebuild this hospital and keep it in Goleta,” said Suzanne Elledge, representing Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

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The roughly three-year project is an ambitious one. It calls for building a new hospital just south of the present Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, 351 S. Patterson Ave., to maintain most of its operations while consolidating others, like the Birth Center and Sub-Acute Care Unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Pueblo at Bath streets.

Meanwhile, the empty lot that sits across Patterson from the building will serve as a temporary parking lot during construction and as the old building is demolished. The medical offices in front of the hospital facing Hollister will be demolished and reconstructed as well, as part of a separate, but related project.

The project is Cottage Health System’s attempt to comply with SB 1953, legislation enacted in 1994 that requires hospitals to comply with seismic safety and design standards to withstand major earthquakes.

The new hospital, according to Diane Wisby, vice president of Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, will be a 152,925-square-foot, two-story building, about 31.5 feet tall. Inpatient procedures will be based on the upper floor, while outpatient procedures and the emergency room will be located on the ground floor. With the relocation of certain departments to the Santa Barbara facility, the new hospital will have 52 beds, down from the current 122, with each patient bed located in its own room.

The new facilities, however, will increase the number of operating and emergency rooms.

“We are going to the patients in this new hospital; the patients are not going to be looking for staff,” said Wisby, referring to the current layout of the hospital. Cottage consulted with design company HBE Corp., which specializes in medical facilities.

For the architecture, the hospital contracted Bruce Bartlett of DesignArc, who is also a Santa Barbara planning commissioner.

According to Bartlett, the architecture of the building and the landscaping is based on what could be considered iconic Goleta: orchards, Stow House design, the colors of the Goleta Train Depot, and even the old hangar buildings around Santa Barbara Airport.

Commissioner Ed Easton was not impressed.

“Bruce, I appreciate your desire to find icons, but did you need to use them all?” he asked. Easton said he had a particular problem with the entryway, as it seemed not to be visible from afar.

Meanwhile, commission chairman Ken Knight had issues with the would-be temporary parking lot across the street.

“That is a sea of asphalt,” he said, suggesting there be more landscaping to avoid the heat island effect. His motion to require more landscaping failed for lack of a second because of the extra expense it would cause the hospital.

Commissioners Doris Kavanagh and Julie Kessler Solomon, however, liked the overall design.

“I actually think it’s quite beautiful,” said Solomon.

The commissioners pushed the project along to the city’s Design Review Board for final consideration, with the condition that it take a closer look at the “entrance and the lobby as they relate to the parking lot and the multiplicity of materials used there.” The project should be up before the Goleta City Council for final approval in November.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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