SF: Prop A – San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center Earthquake Safety Bonds, 2008

To ensure the availability of San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, by building and/or rebuilding and improving the earthquake safety of the hospital and to pay related costs necessary or convenient for the foregoing purposes, shall the City and County of San Francisco issue $887,400,000 in general obligation bonds subject to independent oversight and regular audits?

Turns out there is a state law (SB 1953) that requires hospitals to meet certain seismic safety standards by 2013 or have their acute facilities downgraded to non-acute status. The definition of acute care is “short-term medical treatment, usually in a hospital, for patients having an acute illness or injury or recovering from surgery.” (Answers.com)

The San Francisco General Hospital is the only hospital in the city that have these facilities. Unfortunately, the hospital is unable to retrofit the current buildings thereby requiring bonds to build a new acute facility on the current hospital grounds.

These are one of the things on the ballot that needs to happen. The city cannot afford the hospital to close its acute facilities. The city residents will just have to take the property tax hit and pay for the bond measure which is what the proponents would say.

The opponents to this measure criticize the structure of this new facility. A half-circle of glass walls situated between the two other non-seismic compliant buildings as pictured below:

San Francisco General Hospital Trauma Center design

Having seen the different views of the design from the SFGH’s Rebuild pages, one has to wonder why the building is made up of all glass. The designers do know that the reason for the construction of the new building is to withstand an earthquake, right?

Maybe I am just being overly critical due to the sliding economy. The bond measure is a large sum of money to be put towards a building that is more aesthetic than functional. But, the City residents are left with no choice. I will be marking down a reluctant Yes on the ballot for Proposition A.

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