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Hospitals Given More Time for Seismic Upgrades

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Aired 4/19/09

A new law gives hospitals a break on state seismic requirements. Under the measure, hospitals can have until 2015 to earthquake-proof their facilities. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, state lawmakers passed a measure requiring hospitals to retrofit their buildings by 2008. Most hospitals have received a five-year extension. The new law gives hospitals an additional two years, provided they’ve already started construction. 

Jan Emerson is with the California Hospital Association. She says one of the challenges is hospitals can’t retrofit a building and provide care in it at the same time.

Emerson: And also in many cases it has turned out to be more expensive to retrofit existing buildings, than it is to simply start over again and build an entirely new building.

Some hospitals, like Grossmont, have used bond measures to raise the money for new construction. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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