Briefs – Jan. 15

Posted: January 15th, 2016 | Briefs, Calendar, Opinion & News Briefs, News | No Comments

SANDAG seeks input on priorities for potential ballot measure

In preparation for a potential ballot measure to fund transportation projects and other important regional infrastructure, SANDAG is asking the public to share their priorities for the region’s future.

SANDAG is currently considering a funding measure that could help pay for projects and programs laid out in the recently adopted Regional Plan –– as well as other potential investments such as city projects, water quality improvements, and habitat conservation.

“Our message is simple: We want to hear from you,” County Supervisor and SANDAG Board Chair Ron Roberts said in a press release. “What do you think needs to be done –– in terms of transportation and other regional infrastructure –– in order to keep our community moving forward?”

The SANDAG Board of Directors is considering placing a measure on the November 2016 ballot that would ask voters regionwide to raise the sales tax by up to a half cent to fund a specific list of projects and programs. The board has not yet determined exactly what will be included on that list.

The current outreach effort will engage the community on that question –– and there are three ways to participate:

––Telephone Town Halls: Everyone is invited to join any of four regional conference calls to learn more and weigh in with their priorities. At the time of the call, dial 877-229-8493 and enter access code 112664.

The telephone town hall with a focus on North County Inland and East County Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 6-7 p.m.

––Survey: The public is invited to take an online survey at to identify the types of projects and programs most important to them. Participants will choose from transit, highway, active transportation, water quality, city projects and habitat conservation categories, as well as share any other ideas they have for our region’s future.

––Public Meetings: Everyone is invited to join upcoming public meetings to provide input in person.

The SANDAG Transportation Committee Meeting will be held Friday, Feb. 5 at 9 a.m.; the Board of Directors Meeting on Friday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m.; the  Board of Directors Retreat on
Thursday, March 10 at 10 a.m.; and another Board of Directors Meeting on Friday, March 25 at 9 a.m.

All these meetings will take place in the SANDAG 7th floor Board Room at 401 B St., San Diego 92101 except the SANDAG Board Retreat, which will be held at Barona, 1932 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside 92040.

In October –– following three years of extensive public engagement –– the SANDAG Board of Directors approved a $204 billion long-range regional vision known as San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan. With a focus on creating additional transportation choices, the plan was crafted to support the economy and job creation; improve mobility; create healthy communities; and meet our environmental goals, including preserving half the region as open space and meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets.

For more information, visit 

Renovation of main patient tower recently completed at Sharp Grossmont Hospital

Patients are now being treated in state-of-the-art, upgraded rooms on all five floors of the East Tower of Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) reported in a Dec. 23 press release.

Over the past three years, taxpayer-funded renovation has been underway on floors two through five of the seven-story East Tower building, originally constructed in 1974. The East Tower work was part of the hospital’s Facilities Master Site Plan. Renovation cost of $41 million was financed through Proposition G, a bond measure sponsored by GHD and approved by East County voters in June 2006.


An upgraded lobby in the renovated East Tower of Sharp Grossmont Hospital (Courtesy of Grossmont Healthcare District)

Each renovated floor of the East Tower has 37 patient beds for a total of 148 beds. Among the improvements: patient-bed utility headwalls were replaced with advanced units; new ADA and bariatric accessible rooms were retrofitted; and, nurses are now using newly configured central work stations with upgraded lighting and finishes. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems also were modernized with new lighting throughout the floors. Five existing elevators were upgraded with mechanical and cosmetic improvements. Private restrooms also were upgraded. The project included a seismic retrofit of the East Tower, which will bring it into compliance with current California Building Code earthquake standards.

Taxpayer-funded construction is continuing at the publicly-owned, 540-bed hospital, which opened in 1955. Prop. G also is currently funding construction of a 71,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular (H&V) Center and 18,000-square-foot Central Energy Plant (CEP). The bond-financed construction began in 2007, and is scheduled to continue over the next several years.

The $60 million three-story H&V Center will eventually expand the hospital’s surgery capabilities with four new cardiac catheterization labs and four multipurpose procedural rooms that can support a wide range of specialties, including general surgery, minimally invasive surgery and image-guided surgery, as well as endovascular interventional procedures. In addition to the building, the current construction phase includes a new loading dock and materials receiving department on the lowest level, a new pharmacy and laboratory on the middle floor and shell space on the top floor for the new surgical floor build-out. Completion of the building is scheduled for mid-2016 with completion of the surgical floor is scheduled for late 2018.

The $47 million, two-story Central Energy Plant will help meet future energy capacity needs of the hospital with new emergency generators, boilers, chillers, cooling towers and auxiliary systems, along with a new cogeneration energy system funded by Sharp HealthCare. The cogeneration system includes a 52-ton, 4.4-megawatt combustion turbine generator manufactured by San Diego-based Solar Turbines. The CEP also will contain a new control room that will monitor heating and refrigeration equipment, medical air and vacuum pumps. The new CEP is expected to save millions of dollars in energy costs, plus reduce the hospital’s emission of greenhouse gas pollutants by 90 percent, GHD officials said. The new CEP was constructed with 131 tons of reinforced steel bars surrounded by 4.23 million pounds of concrete with a 106-by-70-foot concrete foundation slab that is 4 feet thick. Completion of the CEP is scheduled for early 2016.

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