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New MLK Hospital Going Ahead, More Neighborhood Projects Planned

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The UC regents voted yesterday to help LA County reopen and operate a new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital at the hospital's old site in Willowbrook--the building shut down two years ago and since then, the area has a major lack of medical services. The decision triggers a capital program to build new facilities that was approved by the Board of Supes in August. The LA Times quoted Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas before the Regents decision saying, “As soon as this vote is taken, we will be working feverishly on design issues and construction.”

In fact HMC Architects has already begun the design process, according to Ridley-Thomas's Senior Deputy for Economic Development, Sustainability and Mobility, Dan Rosenfeld (Ridley-Thomas has been leading the charge to reopen the hospital.). The plan is to renovate a never-used but seismically fit tower on the campus into a 120 bed hospital (The former hospital building held 233 beds, but is too expensive to seismically retrofit.) and add adjacent buildings to house a Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center (MACC) and emergency room. Rosenfeld tells Curbed that the tower should be operational at the end of 2012 and the MACC in the spring of 2013. Rosenfeld also told us that those facilities are just the beginning, and that there are several development projects and neighborhood improvements planned for the area, including a local health clinic, a library, a job center, and possibly housing. [Image via Los Angeles County Health Services]
· UC regents approve partnership with L.A. County to reopen King Hospital [LAT]