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The New Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

Construction Facts


The construction consists of seven phases. Phase 4 was completed in 2011, and patients were moved into the new wings in February 2012.


The rest of the phases include demolishing and rebuilding part of the existing hospital building, which will connect to the new buildings. These last few phases should be completed in 2017.


The new Phase 4 buildings encompass almost 370,000 square feet, and when combined, the total Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital buildings (old and new) will total approximately 870,000 square feet.




Healing Arts

The Cottage Health System Healing Arts Program focuses on the beauty of the Central Coast, through the inspiration, talent, and expertise of Central Coast artists. Utilizing visual arts in healthcare environments has become an international movement. It is believed that the visual arts have the power to enhance patient care, relieve stress for patients and visitors, and increase employee satisfaction. Exposure to the arts may reduce use of pain medication, increase compliance with treatments, and shorten the length of stay in hospitals.


The new Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has art themes by floor:

  • 1st floor: Santa Barbara Architecture
  • 2nd floor: Water, Ocean / Seascapes
  • 3rd floor: Flowers / Floral




  The new helipad can cut an average of 20 minutes off a patient's transportation to the Level II Trauma Center, critical for injuries that occur in distant or remote areas. The flight path to reach the new helipad is along the freeway and over Junipero Street to disturb as few residents as possible.


Why we are rebuilding and how are we funding the project

After the Northridge earthquake in 1994, the California state legislature enacted Senate Bill 1953, which mandated that acute care hospitals be retrofit or rebuilt to withstand and remain functioning following a 6.0 earthquake. Hospitals must be able to admit and care for patients after a 6.0 earthquake.


Although the state is requiring the work, it is providing no funding to help hospitals. There is neither federal funding nor local government funding either. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is replacing all of its inpatient care facilities at an estimated cost of more than $900 million through four sources:

  • operating reserves
  • tax-exempt bond issues (debt)
  • current Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation assets
  • community fund raising (The Campaign for Cottage Health System raised close to $111 million).

Size of construction:
   Existing hospital = 480,000 square feet
   New construction being added =  370,000 SF
   Total size at completion = 710,000  SF

General Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.


Architect: Lee, Burkhart, Liu; Outside facade design by Cearnal Andrulaitis.


Subcontractors: Total of 38 subcontractors.

Major subcontractors include:
   Shoring Engineers- shoring and excavation
   SASCO Electrical Contractors
   Murray Company Mechanical Contractors
   Capporrelli / KHS&S
   The Herrick Corporation (structural steel)
   Letner Roofing and Waterproofing Co.


Number of workers:
    350 workers at peak.


  The demolition of a former parking structure to make way for the new hospital resulted in 15,000 tons of crushed concrete that was then reused to form part of the foundation for the new structures. All together, 90% of the demolished structure materials were kept out of landfills through recycled uses.

Facts About Phase 4 which includes two patient pavilions, a diagnostic and treatment center, and new main entrance 

  • Cubic yards of excavation = 25,000
  • Cubic yards of rock removal = 10,000
  • Cubic yards of concrete =  21,000 cy (2,333 truckloads); 15,000 c.y. in the footings alone
  • Pounds of concrete = 81,900,000 lbs (40,950 Tons).
  • Pounds of reinforcing steel =  5,200,000 lbs (2,600 Tons)
  • Pounds of structural steel = 9,752,000 lbs (4,876 Tons)
  • Total number of doors = 1,327 
  • Lineal footage of partitions = 47,170 lf (8.9 miles)
  • Square footage of drywall = 1,516,000 square feet -- more than 34 acres
  • Plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers) - 1,200 of each
  • Electrical receptacles = 8,000
  • Lineal footage of piping = 260,000 l.f. (50 miles), or the distance to Ventura and back
  • Pounds of ductwork = 750,000 lbs (375 Tons), or more than 250 Nissan Altimas
  • Lineal footage of wiring = 1,144,000 l.f. (216 miles), or about the distance to Los Angeles and back, with a side trip to Buellton
  • Total number of doors = 1,327
  • Total number of chairs (approx.) = 500
  • Total number of windows = more than 300 windows (not including the exterior glass curtain walls)