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Scripps Health Admits Raising $2 Billion For New Project Won’t Be Easy

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Aired 11/18/10

Scripps Health says it's committed to totally revamping Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and upgrading the medical campus. But KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg says company officials admit it won't be easy to come up with $2 billion dollars for the project.

Scripps Health says it's committed to totally revamping Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and upgrading the medical campus. But company officials admit it won't be easy to come up with $2 billion for the project.

The plan to redevelop the 43-acre La Jolla campus includes demolishing the current facility, and building three new hospital towers. In addition, Scripps wants to add an outpatient pavilion and two medical office buildings.

Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder said he hopes to fund the project through bond sales, private donations, and ongoing revenue.

"And clearly, we won't build until we have the resources," Van Gorder said. "We'll never risk the viability of the organization and our mission, based on a building that we can't afford. So, we're gonna have to have all three pieces in place to be able to build."

Van Gorder said the main reason for the redevelopment is the state law requiring all hospitals be earthquake proof by 2030.

"And the second reason is the facilities age over time, technology changes," Van Gorder pointed out. "Rooms are bigger, they're private now, and that helps with infection control and noise issues. So it's kind of the ongoing evolution of health care, and health care buildings and facilities."

Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla was built in 1964.

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