UC Davis Medical Center spending $215 million on ...
NEWS | November 16, 2017

UC Davis Medical Center spending $215 million on seismic safety upgrades


Getting ready for “the big one” – a major earthquake – is a constant focus at UC Davis Medical Center.  Seismic safety planning and construction on the university’s 140-acre Sacramento campus must meet rigorous standards and deadlines.

Seismic safety contruction-related projects are a major investment for UC Davis Medical Center. Seismic safety contruction-related projects are a major investment for UC Davis Medical Center.

Major seismic safety improvements, including demolition and new construction, are costing the medical center an estimated $215 million over the next three years. That’s on top of a new $424 million Pavilion wing of the hospital that replaced UC Davis’ aging surgery and emergency room facilities in 2010.

The work is being done to meet California’s earthquake safety law, which was mandated by the Legislature in 1994 for acute-care hospitals throughout the state.

“The work we now have under way is to help us transition out of the oldest wing of the hospital by 2020 because it doesn’t meet earthquake standards,” said Joel Swift, chief of facilities, design and construction for the medical center complex.  “We’re tearing down old buildings, doing upgrades to existing ones and building new facilities, all with a focus on meeting the state’s safety requirements.”

Swift says current seismic-related construction costs are costing UC Davis about $120 million. The new “North Addition”, adjacent to the hospital near V Street, is the largest project.  Six stories high, the building will house 12 hospital-based departments when it is completed next year. Its completion will then enable demolition of the oldest wing of the hospital, one that has been a familiar face of the medical center for decades along Stockton Blvd.

“Once the North-South Wing comes down in about two years, we’re going to add a new a new look to the west side of the medical center,” Swift said. “We’re combing safety and aesthetics in all the new construction here. Plus, new and modern facilities help enhance patient care.”

The demolition, along with upcoming construction costs for seismic safety compliance, will cost an estimated $95 million over the next three years.

Other medical center construction projects already under way include:

  • Children’s Surgery Center (replacement facility in the Pavilion wing)
  • Dialysis/apheresis facility (newly expanded treatment unit in University Tower)
  • Modifying other existing spaces within the hospital, including fire sprinklers, electrical and elevator upgrades, accessibility improvements, and improvements to patient areas


UC Davis Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health. Centers of excellence include the National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; the region's only Level 1 pediatric and adult trauma centers; the UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders; and the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The medical center serves a 33-county, 65,000-square-mile area that stretches north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada. It further extends its reach through the award-winning telemedicine program, which gives remote, medically underserved communities throughout California unprecedented access to specialty and subspecialty care. For more information, visit medicalcenter.ucdavis.edu.