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HOK and McCarthy Chosen as Design-Build Team for UCLA Health Neuropsychiatric Hospital Project

The renovation will transform four disparate and dated hospital buildings into a unified care facility for patients experiencing mental and behavioral health challenges.

HOK and McCarthy have been selected by UCLA Health to transform the former Olympia Medical Center in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles into a state-of-the-art neuropsychiatric hospital.

UCLA Health’s inpatient neuropsychiatric program is currently housed in the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, located within Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on UCLA’s Westwood campus. It is recognized among the nation’s top psychiatric care facilities. The move to the Mid-Wilshire location will allow UCLA Health to help address the region’s unmet need for behavioral health services. All 74 inpatient psychiatric beds will be relocated to the Mid-Wilshire location, with room for additional beds and a planned total of 119. Plans also call for 20 additional observation beds.

The hospital will meet California Department of Health Care Access and Information classification for acute psychiatric hospital buildings and include comprehensive behavioral health care services for adult, geriatric, child, adolescent and intensive care patients. Support spaces will include food service, imaging, pharmacy, lab areas and administrative offices. Trauma-informed design features will include distributed therapy spaces on each floor and rooftop terraces and grade-level gardens for patient and staff respite.

UCLA Health acquired the closed Olympia Medical Center in December 2020.

The McCarthy + HOK team went through a five-month procurement process for the progressive design-build project. Additional enhancements to the scoping documents included restacking patient units based on more operational efficiencies and patient safety and full exterior recladding to upgrade the facility.

“We are thrilled to be part of this important project with UCLA Health and McCarthy,” said Hunvey Chen, leader of HOK’s Healthcare practice in Los Angeles. “This new acute psychiatric care facility addresses a huge need we have in Los Angeles for expanded behavioral health services.”

“Creating a healing and recovery environment was one of the main stated goals of this project,” said Erik Chessmore, McCarthy’s Vice President of Operations, Los Angeles. “The atmosphere will be inviting, and patients, family members and caregivers will have ample daylight and amenities to make for a healthful recovery. We are so grateful for this opportunity to team with HOK and UCLA Health to build this new hospital, setting a new standard for a modern-day neuropsychiatric hospital.”

The University of California Board of Regents approved project scope, design and financing on Nov. 17, 2022. Based on current timetables, renovation of the 175,000-sq.-ft. facility is expected to begin in May 2023, with an opening no sooner than spring 2026.

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