Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community


Marking the milestones


The largest construction project in Palo Alto’s history—the Stanford Medical Center Renewal Project—reached a new milestone this summer. And it was ahead of schedule. The reopening of Welch Road—four months earlier than planned—marks an important transition in the project, and its new look offers a tangible sign of the vision for the future. Though hardhats, backhoes and cranes will remain part of the medical center landscape for several more years, there already have been a number of important project milestones.

“We’re making great progress, in every sense of the word,” said Mark Tortorich, FAIA, vice president of planning, design and construction for the hospitals.

The $5 billion project includes expanding Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, building a new Stanford Hospital, modernizing Hoover Pavilion and replacing School of Medicine research facilities. The overall plan was prompted by state-mandated seismic safety laws and a growing need to build a new hub for medical education, research and patient care that can adapt to advances in medicine and increased community demand.

“The centerpiece of the Renewal Project is the hospitals’ and the medical school’s need to deliver rapidly advancing medical science in a safe, future-thinking and seismically sound environment,” said Tortorich. “By building modern facilities from the ground up, we are able to design not only for today but also for what we anticipate our needs will be in the future."

Plans approved

After more than four years and more than 100 public hearings, plans for the project are approved by the Palo Alto City Council, allowing construction to begin. The design of both hospitals had already been endorsed by the city’s Architectural Review Board, which held 29 public hearings on various aspects of the project—what city officials call the largest in Palo Alto’s history.

Site preparation

More than 80 trees are boxed and stored, ready to be replanted once the project is complete. Heritage oaks and redwoods are carefully prepared and put in safekeeping so they can be transplanted later; some are relocated to new sites on the university campus.

Clinic buildings demolished

Clinics at 701 and 703 Welch Road are demolished as part of the “make-ready” preparations for below-grade work for the Packard Children’s Hospital expansion.

Welch Road utility project begins


Utility work and surface improvements to Welch Road include replacing utility lines, water services, gas lines and information technology infrastructure to serve the new hospital facilities. The street becomes one way between Quarry Road and Pasteur Drive, and sidewalks, curbs and gutters are removed. Access to several clinics is relocated to Vineyard Lane.

Packard Children’s Hospital groundbreaking

More than 200 people attend the official groundbreaking ceremony for Packard Children’s, marking the formal start of construction. The expansion will add 521,000 square feet, providing more beds, private rooms, state-of-the-art operating suites, family-friendly amenities and the flexible floor space the hospital needs to adapt to new technologies and more efficient services.

Parking structure demolished

The three-level parking structure adjacent to Stanford Hospital and the Stanford Cancer Center is demolished to prepare the main construction site of the new Stanford Hospital. Visitor parking is rerouted to the underground parking facility on Pasteur Drive.

Hoover Pavilion opens


After an extensive, 14-month renovation process, Hoover Pavilion— the original Palo Alto Hospital—is restored inside and out and modernized to accommodate diverse health-care specialties and expanded outpatient services. The landmark Art Deco building now serves as headquarters for several Stanford primary care clinics, including the Express Care Clinic, and houses the main branch of the Stanford Health Library.

Stanford Hospital groundbreaking

About 350 administrators, donors and community members gather to mark the official start of construction for the new Stanford Hospital. The 824,000-square-foot floor plan will increase patient capacity to 600 beds and feature 368 private rooms, an enlarged Level 1 trauma center and an expanded emergency department.

Welch Road reopens

Welch Road is reopened as a two-way thoroughfare—four months ahead of schedule. The road is now wider, with new landscaping, sidewalks, crosswalks and lighting. Access to the clinics on Blake Wilbur Drive is now available via Welch Road.

Hoover Pavilion parking structure opens

The nine-level parking structure (with three levels below ground) adds more than 1,000 new parking spaces for employees, patients and staff, and is constructed of precast components for seismic stability.

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