If you drive by the construction site of the new Temecula Valley Hospital on Temecula Parkway, you’ll notice that it’s starting to take on the look of a real building.
Temecula’s long-awaited hospital is one year away from completion, with construction moving forward on time and on target, according to a hospital spokesperson.
It can’t open right away, however, until inspections are completed.
“They have to come in, go through our documents. They do a full inspection, and after they give you the approval and you open the doors and see the first patient, after you have seen a minimum of 30 patients, The Joint Commission comes in and does an inspection too,” said Temecula Valley Hospital spokeswoman Rebecca Hathaway, referring to the independent, not-for-profit organization (formerly called the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospitals) that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs nationwide.
After delays due to legal issues and the hospital parent company’s focus on finishing expansions at its hospitals in Murrieta and Wildomar, ground was broken in June 2011 for the new hospital on Temecula Parkway west of Margarita Road.
The 140-bed, five-story acute care hospital could expand later on.
“We know we can grow up to 320 beds based on the community needs. The community needs change so quickly,” Hathaway said.
This week, about 150 workers per day have been busy at the 37-acre site, where the parking lot and roads are laid out and paved. This week, the traffic light at the main entrance on Temecula Parkway began working.
The final beam of the hospital’s structure was placed at a topping-out ceremony in March, making the hospital the tallest building in Temecula. Other construction milestones reached so far include the pouring of all concrete decks and completion of the slab and flooring. The tower’s fireproofing is also complete and parking lot lights are installed. Other summer construction activities include interior construction, overhead utilities, exterior framing, sheathing and roofing.
Moving forward, the hospital is working on budgets to determine staffing and hiring, and applying for business and Medicare licenses, among other things, Hathaway said. The hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, a Pennsylvania-based company that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.
The new hospital will have all private rooms and a 20-bed intensive care unit, as well as six high-tech surgical suites, an emergency room that can accommodate up to 40 beds, digital imaging and an advanced electronic clinical information system.
Job-seeker alert: The hospital expects to employ about 400 people. It’s in the final stages of hiring a chief executive officer but more jobs will be posted on the website in the spring, Hathaway said. She encouraged those looking to apply to check the website under the link for careers, and to keep checking in the spring as updates are posted. Applicants must apply online for a specific position.
No specific jobs are currently posted.
For those who want to follow the building process closely, the hospital has a website, www.temeculavalleyhospital.com, where updates are periodically posted.
Amy Bentley is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.