Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital's new wings opened Feb. 12, 2012


The California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification Division issued Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital a new license, effective February 1, and patients moved into the facility on Sunday, February 12, as planned.


The helipad also opened for patient transports in February. The new helipad can cut an average of 20 minutes off a patient's transportation to the Level II Trauma Center, critical for injuries that occur in distant or remote areas.

Construction Facts


The building was designed by Lee, Burkhart, Liu healthcare architects. Outside facade design by Cearnal Andrulaitis.


McCarthy Building Companies was the general contractor with 38 subcontractors.


The construction consists of seven phases, and the completion of this portion was Phase 4.



Learn more about the
new hospital >>

Take a virtual tour of
our new facility >>

Watch a flawless
helipad test landing >>

The rest of the phases include demolishing and rebuilding part of the existing hospital building, which will connect to the new buildings. These last few phases should be completed in 2017.


The new Phase 4 buildings encompass almost 370,000 square feet, and when combined, the total Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital buildings (original and new) will encompass approximately 870,000 square feet.


Recycling Efforts

The demolition of a former parking structure to make way for the new hospital resulted in 15,000 tons of crushed concrete that was then reused to form part of the foundation for the new structures. All together, 90% of the demolished structure materials were kept out of landfills through recycled uses.



A helipad for air ambulance transport of critically ill patients to our Trauma Center when minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Learn more about our helipad policies here. (see video of a helipad test landing here )


Healing Arts

Cottage Health System's Healing Arts Program focuses on the beauty of the Central Coast, through the inspiration, talent, and expertise of Central Coast

artists. Utilizing visual arts in healthcare environments has become an international movement. It is believed that the visual arts have the power to enhance patient care, relieve stress for patients and visitors, and increase employee satisfaction. Exposure to the arts may reduce use of pain medication, increase compliance with treatments, and shorten the length of stay in hospitals.



The new Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has art themes by floor:

   • 1st floor:  Santa Barbara Architecture

   • 2nd floor:  Water, Ocean / Seascapes

   • 3rd floor:  Flowers / Floral


More Statistics

  • Pounds of concrete = 81,900,000 lbs (40,950 tons)
  • Pounds of reinforcing steel = 5,200,000 lbs (2,600 tons)
  • Pounds of structural steel = 9,752,000 lbs (4,876 tons)
  • Square footage of drywall = 1,516,000 square feet - more than 34 acres
  • Electrical receptacles = 8,000
  • Pounds of ductwork = 750,000 lbs (375 Tons)
  • Lineal footage of wiring = 1,144,000 linear feet. (216 miles)
  • Total number of doors = 1,327
  • Total number of chairs (approx.) = 500
  • Total number of windows = more than 300
    (not including the exterior glass curtain walls

Why we're rebuilding and how are we funding the project


After the Northridge earthquake in 1994, the California state legislature enacted Senate Bill 1953, which mandated that acute care hospitals be retrofit or rebuilt to withstand and remain functioning following a 6.0 earthquake. Hospitals must be able to admit and care for patients after a 6.0 earthquake.



Although the state is requiring the work, it is providing no funding to help hospitals. There is neither federal funding nor local government funding either. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is replacing all of its inpatient care facilities at an estimated cost of more than $900 million through four sources:

  • operating reserves
  • tax-exempt bond issues (debt)
  • current Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation assets
  • community fund raising (The Campaign for Cottage Health System raised close to $111 million).