California Northstate University (CNU) on Dec. 20 unveiled their plan for a 250-bed teaching hospital to be built next to its current Elk Grove campus.

The 11-acre site of this proposed $750 million, 475,000-square-foot medical facility is on West Taron Drive, just south of Elk Grove Boulevard in the Stone Lake neighborhood.

CNU’s submitted plan calls for a groundbreaking in late 2019, and for the hospital to be completed in 2022.

The facility, which is being designed by Fong & Chan Architects, of San Francisco, would be called the California Northstate University Medical Center.

Alvin Cheung, California Northstate University CEO and president, told the Citizen that the university hopes to have the hospital provide service by November 2022.

“That is a very aggressive schedule, but we are up for it,” he said. “We will do everything we can to go through the process and then do it right the first time.”

A review of the proposed project by the city and other agencies is expected to begin after the holidays, and a public evaluation of the project will follow in early 2019.

The Elk Grove Planning Commission and the Elk Grove City Council must approve a District Development Plan. Included in the city’s review are an Environmental Impact Report, design review and traffic study.

The unveiled plan for the hospital shows an architecturally distinct structure that includes acute and comprehensive medical care, physician training and a Level II trauma center, which would support emergency needs in the region.

Cheung said that the hospital could also be useful in the event of a natural disaster.

“In case there’s any God-forbidden natural disaster, we can serve as expanded capacity for any kind of emergency situation,” he said.

Cheung added that one of the benefits of a teaching hospital is its ability to attract “top flight physicians” to teach the future generation of physicians.

He also said that such a hospital assists in advancing the science of medicine, and provides a high quality controlled environment for medical, pharmacy and nursing education.

Among the speakers at the press conference was Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, who has been a vocal advocate of having a hospital built in Elk Grove.

Ly praised CNU’s plans.

“We are excited about the potential that this project has for generating improved access to health care for our residents and more jobs within our community,” he said. “With a population expected to exceed 200,000 residents within the next 10 years, it’s time for Elk Grove to have its own hospital.”

Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli referred to the plan for the hospital as a “tremendous announcement.”

“I’m just excited, along with a lot of other folks here in the room, to note the prospect of having a hospital at this location, and certainly all that it would bring from the standpoint of service to the community, health service access, but also the teaching hospital aspect.”

Darrell Doan, the city’s economic development director, commented on the potential benefits of having a teaching hospital in Elk Grove.

“We’ve got an opportunity to create thousands of high paying medical and support jobs, bring in hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue, plus all the initial investment and construction – 4,000 construction, temporary jobs,” he said. “The benefits of this are just off the chart. We couldn’t be happier.”

Doan added that the city looks forward to a “very robust” public review.

“This is just the first step,” he said. “An application has been made. The city needs to remain objective and take that through the proper community process, and hopefully we arrive at approvals.”

Cheung emphasized his excitement for CNU’s plan to open a teaching hospital in Elk Grove.

“On a scale of one to 10, this is 10, maybe 11,” he said.