UCI breaks ground on $1.3B hospital, medical complex in ceremony at Irvine campus
A $1.3-billion effort to construct a new, state-of-the-art medical complex at UC Irvine — complete with an acute care hospital, comprehensive cancer center and advanced care facility — has launched, as officials and community leaders broke ground in a ceremony Monday.
Designed to complement the flagship UCI Medical Center in the city of Orange, the Irvine-based project, whose structures 800,000 square feet, is anticipated to be completed in 2025.
UCI Health Chief Executive Chad T. Lefteris called the project the “next chapter of healthcare in Orange County.”
“The new UCI Medical Center — Irvine will be a full-service academic medical complex, bringing a broad range of the most advanced healthcare services to coastal and southern Orange County, including access to the hundreds of clinical trials underway at UCI Health,” he said Monday.
The 350,000-square-foot hospital will feature 144 beds and a full-service emergency department, while the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care building will offer complete outpatient services with 36 private exam and will serve as the county’s only National Cancer Center Institute-designated cancer center.
A hematopoietic stem cell and bone marrow transplant program, currently being housed at UCI Medical Center, will also be located at the facility, expected to also open in 2025.
Construction will soon begin on a 168,000-square-foot UCI Health Center for Advanced Care, which will offer adult specialty medical services and a Center for Children’s Health that is to include the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. That building is slated to be completed by 2023.
UC Irvine and UCI Health announced in January plans to build a medical complex at the north end of the Irvine university campus. The University of California Board of Regents approved a proposal for the acute care hospital to serve as the centerpiece of the academic medical complex.
In Monday’s ceremony officials overturned the symbolic soil on the site, at which large balloons in different colors indicated where buildings would be placed in the complex.
UCI Health spokesman John Murray said the project is funded through hospital reserves, external financing and supporters, including the family of Allen Chao — whose philanthropic efforts to the university have amassed $50 million since 1995 — and longtime UCI Health and School of Medicine supporters Ralph and Sue Stern.
Last week, officials announced a cancer clinic floor in the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care building would bear the names of the Sterns, whose lifetime giving to UCI Health has reached $12.5 million.
All the latest on Orange County from Orange County.
Get our free TimesOC newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Daily Pilot.