As Sutter Tracy Community Hospital plans for a new hospital in Tracy Gateway Business Park, it will also have to plan for the future of the old hospital in the heart of the city.
After nearly 60 years at the corner of Tracy Boulevard and Eaton Avenue, the hospital continues to expand. Sutter Tracy officials said the 38-acre piece of land in the proposed office park is not just another expansion, but will be the home of a new hospital to replace the hospital in the middle of town.
Hospital spokeswoman Karen Mudd said that doesn’t mean the old hospital will be sold or converted to another use.
“That has not been determined because we’re still in the midst of planning,” she said. “The facility is in good order, but we will outgrow it in time. It’s not like we’re going to just leave it behind.
“We are expanding our medical services to Gateway and will build a hospital, but we will use our present site for medical services.”
Frances Mizuno, chair of the hospital’s board of trustees, said the board agreed in August that it would build a new hospital at Gateway, a 538-acre business park including mostly office buildings.
“When we get to the stage when we get maxed out, the future hospital will be at the Gateway site,” Mizuno said.
She added that the board doesn’t have a schedule for construction of the new hospital. That timeline will depend on the need for space.
Mudd said the Gateway land purchase is still in escrow and preliminary plans will have to be endorsed by the city before the sale is complete. All hospital plans also require review by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, which can take as long as two years.
“Right now we have a consultant who will lay out the site and decide what will be there,” Mizuno said. She said the hospital also has a committee of doctors, hospital staff and citizens to come up with a wide-ranging plan for the new hospital and any other buildings Sutter Tracy expects to own.
“One of the things we’re looking at is developing medical offices as well,” she said, acknowledging that many of the doctors who work through Sutter Tracy have separate offices in the neighborhood.
Sutter Tracy completed a $24 million expansion last year, which includes a new emergency room, outpatient surgery center and obstetrics ward.
Mudd said that will still be a good investment even if the building is put to a different use in the near future.
“There are plenty of opportunities to use the existing site for other services,” she said.
To reach reporter Bob Brownne, call 830-4227 or e-mail email@example.com.