UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.

UC San Diego Medical Center Friday recognized a $30 million allocation in the new state budget that will support the long-term redevelopment of the new Hillcrest hospital.

“When COVID-19 swept through our nation, it opened our eyes in ways we never could have imagined,” Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins said. “In particular, it underscored how critical it is that everyone has access to quality health care.

“State-of-the-art facilities and impeccably trained health care workers are key components of making that a reality,” she continued. “With these budget funds, UC San Diego Health’s Hillcrest campus will be able to elevate the already exceptional care and medical education provided to the region and take it to the next level.”

According to a hospital statement, the project is necessary to comply with seismic safety provisions of the California Hospital Code and provides the opportunity to design and build modern, sustainable and efficient medical facilities.

“Rebuilding UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is essential to continuing comprehensive hospital care and expanding vital outpatient services for San Diegans,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “UC San Diego is upgrading the Hillcrest site with modern, sustainable and efficient medical facilities that are easier to access, offer more services and are better integrated into the surrounding neighborhood.”

Covering approximately 60 acres, the Hillcrest campus houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, Regional Burn Center and Comprehensive Stroke Center.

The 390-bed hospital serves San Diego and Imperial County residents, along with parts of Riverside County.

An academic medical center, UCSD Health maintains two campuses, combining research, teaching and clinical care at its Hillcrest and La Jolla locations. UCSD has had a presence in Hillcrest since 1966, when the university began operating the former county hospital.

The transformation of the campus in Hillcrest is part of a long-range development plan which includes a 250,000-square-foot outpatient pavilion with specialty clinical programs, such as oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery and orthopedics, as well as ambulatory surgery operating rooms, gastroenterology procedure rooms, advanced imaging, infusion and radiation oncology.

The new hospital is intended to be the cornerstone of a redevelopment project that will also feature a wellness center and up to 1,000 units of workforce housing.

Construction for the project is anticipated to start in the fall and continue over approximately 15 years in five phases. Officials hope the process will reduce impacts on the surrounding community while ensuring current, critical campus functions remain operational.