New Santa Maria regional hospital is ready for release

The newly constructed, $218 million Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria is set to open March 27.

However, those wanting a sneak peek can attend a community celebration and dedication in front of the hospital’s new entrance on Palisade Drive at 11 a.m. Wednesday. An open house and public tours will follow the ceremony.

The 235,000-square-foot facility is double the size of the former building.

The four-story, 191-bed acute-care facility features all private rooms with guest accommodations.

The building also has an expanded emergency department and critical-care unit and a 21-bed newborn intensive-care unit.

The hospital’s Cornerstone campaign raised $16.75 million in donations for construction costs. The remaining construction costs were paid for through loans and tax-exempt bonds.

“It was the largest and most successful capital campaign ever launched in the Santa Maria Valley,” said Jessa Brooks, marketing specialist at Marian.

Dignity Health of the Central Coast, the corporate owner of Marian, also owns Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Marian began planning to build a new hospital in 1997. Construction crews broke ground in October 2008.

“The new facility has the capabilities to serve the community, not only right now but well into the future, for generations to come,” Brooks said.

The hospital is offering additional public tours of the new hospital from 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. March 10 and from noon to 3 p.m. March 11. Reservations are recommended, and tours are available in English and Spanish. To book a tour, call 739-3105.

On opening day, all patients will be moved from the existing facility to the new hospital, and Marian will begin admitting patients into the new hospital.