Sutter Health, Eden Medical Center

In less than 36 hours, our Laurel Grove Hospital was completely demolished, leaving behind not just the debris for recycling, but also more than 45 years of memories.


My name is Bob Bosold, and I am the Project Director for Eden Medical Center. I’ve worked at Eden for 33 years, starting out as an engineer back in 1977. My career at Eden spans thousands of projects that define the buildings of Eden Medical Center. Early on I managed projects ranging from simple office designs and renovations to major expansions and development. Among them are the development of Baywood Court Retirement Community and the complete remodel of Laurel Grove Hospital back in 1990. More recently the renovation of the 6th floor Sutter East Bay Neuroscience Center and the Emergency Department.

Today, I manage projects on the hospital campus, including issues related to the new hospital construction. The demolition of Laurel Grove Hospital is perhaps one of the more bittersweet projects on campus. On the one hand, it symbolizes the progress of our new hospital. On the other, it means the end of a great facility that provided care for thousands of patients and was home to so many great employees. I was a patient at Laurel Grove following knee surgery five years ago, and the care I received was excellent. Yes, it was sad to see the old hospital go.

From a facilities perspective, the demolition of Laurel Grove was far more complex than the actual deconstruction photos show. Our last patient at Laurel Grove was discharged home in December 2009, and the final employee celebration was held December 30. From that moment on, our teams worked to identify and remove virtually every piece of equipment, furniture, fixture and countless other things people don’t even think about that support a hospital structure, such as boilers, propane and diesel fuel tanks, an emergency generator and air conditioning chiller.

Where Did It All Go?

While our patient care staff worked to transfer all patient records to Eden, our facilities team focused on assessing all of the equipment from the rooftop all the way down to the soil. We cleared out major rooms such as Radiology and the kitchen, and gathered the smallest of items found in desk drawers and cabinets. All equipment was identified and relocated according to areas of greatest need and value. In other words, some equipment was given new life where needed at Eden or San Leandro Hospital, or at another Sutter Health facility, or donated to another hospital or clinic in need. This by far was the most gratifying part of this project.

Some equipment was sold or stripped for parts for use where needed, but that represents a small percentage compared to what we were able to reuse or recycle. Although Laurel Grove looked small from the outside, it held a significant amount of furniture (hospital beds, tables, curtains, chairs), office equipment (desks, bookcases, filing cabinets) and supplies (wheelchairs, walkers, office supplies) and so much “stuff” in every room.

Fortunately, we found a home for almost everything. Our specialized LaserOptics equipment was donated to UC Berkeley Vision Sciences and their School of Ophthalmology. Physical and occupational therapy equipment, wheelchairs, walkers and related items were donated to Alameda County Medical Center and several other clinics. Much of our furniture, office supplies, cabinetry and kitchen equipment made its way to schools, clinics, local businesses and organizations including MedShare, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare through the redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to developing countries. I would have to say that about 95 percent of the interior equipment was donated or used elsewhere. The rest was recycled along with the building (more on this later).

What’s next?

Once the abatement was complete and the connection between the hospital and adjacent medical office building was closed and remodeled and new walkways installed, the old hospital was torn down in less than two days. From the street, what is left looks like a big pile of rubble. But what is really happening behind the fence is amazing. Over the next two weeks, virtually every part of the building and site will be recycled: metals, woods, plastics, concrete, vegetation, landscape materials, all of it.

The metal is separated from the fiber by a large sorter on site. All the metal will be recycled, and the fiber material will be sent to Waste Management, where it will be used in composting and come back to life as, among other things, potting soil! Some of the material will find new life as colored bark that is used in gardens. And best of all, the concrete (including Laurel Grove’s foundation), will be ground up, set aside and later used as site fill on the  new hospital site.  Laurel Grove will live on.

Here is a quick look at how the materials are separated for recycling at the site:

By April 15, the Laurel Grove site will become a paved parking lot for the hundreds of contractors working on the project. Once the underground utilities are taken care of, the site will have new landscaping that will enhance the aesthetics of the neighborhood. The lot will remain parking for contractors throughout the entire building project, and will convert to employee parking in 2013.

A Time of Change

From my perspective, seeing the end of Laurel Grove Hospital comes with mixed emotions. Eden purchased Laurel Grove in 1986, and from that moment I was involved in expanding, remodeling and upgrading the entire facility. And so, many years later, I watched it come down. I feel a sense of pride in being involved in creating a good facility that provided care to so many people, and a sense of sadness in seeing it go. But I am also excited, knowing this is progress and we are making way for our new hospital.

One project ends, another begins. I spend a lot of time putting things up and making them work, and a lot of time taking them down and making them work as something else. That’s the nature of my work and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

I will write more on the recycling in my next post. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and questions.

View the demolition images.

Campus View from Main Entry

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

After what has seemed like a very long journey, we now have permits in hand, and contractors have already mobilized on the Eden Medical Center campus to get it ready for construction of the highly anticipated new hospital. We want to keep you informed about the project, and let you know what you can expect in the next week and throughout the month of July.

Fencing around the perimeter of the construction area is almost complete! The fencing goes along our property line on Stanton Avenue, through our campus, and along the adjacent apartment buildings. We are also installing a gate at one of our Stanton Avenue entrances to limit access to the area only to construction vehicles.

Tree stump removal on the future helipad site will begin later this week.  The new site is approximately 150 feet north of the present location, as close as possible to the Eden Medical Trauma Center. Two days have been allocated for this work. Grading of the new helipad site will begin as early as June 26th, and will take up to three weeks to complete.

Demolition of the vacant Pine Cone Apartments on Stanton Avenue will begin July 1st. The structure will be demolished in one day, and it will take about two full weeks to break down and remove the debris.

Hours of work will be from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, but is subject to change as work moves into subsequent phases.  We will keep you posted on construction schedules.

The Alameda County Fire Department has requested use of the vacant Pine Cone Apartment building for training purposes on June 29 and 30, prior to demolition. Firefighters in training often use vacant buildings to practice search, rescue and simulated fire control.  You will see firefighters on site on these dates, using smoke generators (no real fire) and equipment. Their life-saving work is a benefit to the community and we are proud to support their efforts.

If you have any questions or concerns about the preparation phase of construction, please comment on our blog, and we will respond promptly.

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director


We are only a week away from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors hearing in which the Board will consider the Final Environmental Impact Report, zoning changes, and Castro Valley general plan changes. We are asking for your support at this critical step.

Local groups and some residents of San Leandro are applying fierce political pressure on the Board members to deny approval. Their reason? The future of San Leandro Hospital is unknown, and therefore they are pressuring the Board of Supervisors to require Sutter Health to keep San Leandro Hospital open as a condition of approving the land use for the new hospital in Castro Valley.

What wrong with this?  First of all, the Board of Supervisors are not voting on the future of San Leandro Hospital—they are having a public hearing on the land use entitlements and certifying the EIR. To delay or deny approval based on pressure about San Leandro is wrong.

The future of San Leandro Hospital is not and should not be tied to the new hospital. Indeed, San Leandro Hospital is a critical issue that must be addressed—and it requires a regional solution, more careful planning, and a separate focus than this project.  It’s an important issue that cannot be overlooked, for the sake of the staff, physicians and patients. But the complex issues at one hospital should not be tied to the land use entitlements for the new hospital project.

Simply stated, by delaying plans for the new hospital, the Board will jeopardize the future of Eden AND San Leandro hospitals.

I am asking you to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on May 12 and SPEAK UP in favor of our new hospital. Speakers are limited to 3 minutes, but a simple 30-second statement is powerful. The Board needs to know that residents of Castro Valley and surrounding communities want and need this new hospital, without delays.

Meeting details:

Tuesday, May 12
1:00 p.m.

Board of Supervisors Meeting Chambers
1221 Oak Street, Oakland

If you cannot attend the meeting, we need to you to contact the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and have you voice your opinion. It is so important that the Board hears from everyone, especially since the majority of people in our community support this project (an astounding 80% of community members are in favor according to recent polls!).

Call your Supervisors today!

Supervisor Nate Miley — 510-272-6694

Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker — 510-272-6693

Supervisor Gail Steele — 510-272-6692

Supervisor Keith Carson — 510-272-6695

Supervisor Scott Haggerty — 510-272-6691

Thank you for your continued support!

As always, we also appreciate your comments and questions on this blog, and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.

Main Entrance at Twilight

The new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, which will replace Eden Hospital.

Main Entrance at Twilight












We’re hosting another Community Open House on Wednesday night, March 18th, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., at the Eden Hospital Conference Center, 20103 Lake Chabot Road, in Castro Valley, California. You’ll be able to see more of the architectural renderings of the beautiful new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley and get an update on our progress. You’ll learn more about the proposed schedule for construction, and get answers to your questions and concerns. We’ll be serving refreshments, and members of our project team will be available to talk with you. We look forward to seeing you there!

You can also stay informed by reading this blog regularly, especially if you subscribe by email or RSS feed. Just click on the orange RSS icon on the right side of the blue bar above for simple subscription instructions.

If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, FriendFeed, or other social networks, you’re invited to connect with us online. The links to our social network communities are in the right side bar. Our blog is also now featured in Alltop, in the Health section!

Please let us know if you’re a member of another online neighborhood, health care or business network that members of our project team might join to discuss plans for the new medical center. We would be glad to participate!

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

We recently received a comment on our site regarding the relocation of Sazio’s Ristorante Italiano, located across and down the street from Eden Medical Center on Lake Chabot Road. The person asked, “How are you being a good neighbor by driving out a small family-owned business like Sazio’s without any relocation assistance?”

Like every issue, there is more to the story than what appears in the newspapers or is talked about in private circles. That’s why a blog is a great place to raise issues and open up a conversation.

Sazio’s restaurant has been in the same location for many years. They are wonderful people, serving excellent food (the ravioli is my favorite). The restaurant is located on a piece of property that includes single story medical office buildings and a few storefronts, where a sushi restaurant and barbershop were once located. Karen’s Flower Kottage was also on the site before they moved to a new location.

The property was sold to the Eden Township Healthcare District (not Sutter Health or Eden Medical Center) about three years ago. Since the purchase, the District has planned for medical office buildings and related parking to be built on the land.

While I do not speak for the District, it is important to know that every tenant of the property was fully informed that the site would eventually be converted to another use. All existing leases were honored through their expiration dates, or the tenant moved voluntarily, prior to the end of the lease. The owners of Sazio’s chose to wait, rather than take opportunities to move during the past three years. Ultimately, representatives from the District and Sazio’s will determine what lies ahead.

It is also worth noting that the plans for that site are not part of the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project. Our project is specifically for the construction of the new hospital and adjacent medical office building, site improvements and eventual deconstruction of the old hospital.

While at first glance it may appear to be all one big construction project on Lake Chabot Road, it is not. We have different owners, different plans, different processes and approvals and even different timeframes. What we have in common is our community’s healthcare needs. The District’s project will benefit physicians in the community—some of whom will be displaced when the new hospital work begins—by providing much needed medical space for their busy practices.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments, and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.

Jesus Armas

By Jesús Armas, Government Affairs Liaison

Imagine trying to build a new state-of-the-art hospital while keeping the existing one open. This is exactly the challenge confronting Sutter Health as it is pursues construction of our new hospital while keeping Eden Medical Center open to meet the health care needs of the community. How is this being accomplished? By expanding the area available for construction.

A few years ago, Sutter Health purchased the Pine Cone Apartments, a 42-unit complex on Stanton Avenue, slightly west of the existing hospital. By removing the buildings and combining the vacated space with some nearby land, Sutter is able to create a parcel large enough to allow Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley to be constructed and to keep Eden Hospital open to serve the community.

What about the residents at the Pine Cone Apartments? Sutter Health considered the apartments more than just a collection of buildings. The organization recognized that the apartments are home to many families, and that the residents would need time to find a new place to live; and that once they found a suitable place, they would incur certain expenses to move to their new homes.

So, this past April, Sutter Health representatives met with the tenants to make them aware of the project. At that meeting, Sutter committed to providing tenants a reasonable period of time in which to move. In addition to time, Sutter also agreed to provide some form of financial assistance to lessen the burden of moving. Although not required to do so, Sutter Health agreed to provide the cash equivalent of two months worth of rent to tenants who vacated their units by the end of December, 2008. For those who move afterwards, a reduced amount would be provided. Tenants who move after February, 2008 would forgo the ability to receive any financial assistance. As of this writing, most of the tenants have availed themselves of the assistance provided by Sutter Health.

If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment box on this post (click on the title of the post, and you’ll see the comment box below it), or visit the Contact page to email someone on our team. We appreciate your comments and will respond as quickly as possible.

Neighbors and Community Members at October 22, 2008 Launch Event

Neighbors and Community Members at October 22, 2008 Launch Event

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

On October 22, 2008, we invited the community—and particularly the neighbors—around Eden Medical Center to come to the hospital to learn about the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project. We had representatives from the hospital, Devenney Group (the architectural team), Sutter Health, the social media team, and others available to meet our neighbors, hear their feedback and answer their questions. We’ll be posting video clips from the event in the next few days, so keep an eye on our Video Gallery and the featured video box in the right sidebar.

The good news was that the project was well-received, with high praise for the design and sensitivity to the community. We had great questions asked of us, and excellent comments for us to consider as we move ahead (regarding traffic patterns, noise abatement and other important concerns). While we had a very active and interested audience, we hope even more people in the community will join us at future events we plan to host in the coming year. Keep reading this blog, because we’ll announce upcoming community events here.

We realize that people are very busy, and going to the hospital isn’t something most people like to do even when they are healthy! So, we plan to take our presentation on the road, attending events and meetings to hear what folks have to say. We’ll post any future meeting dates and times in our News Room. And, of course, we will use this new blog site to reach a much wider audience, particularly those who live in our community who may not otherwise get involved.

There is a misperception that the people in Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward and beyond are not too familiar with social networks, blogs and all the new ways to communicate with each other over the Internet. I hope to change that perception by grabbing new readers and subscribers in our area and far beyond.

So, think of this site as our community meeting. Stay informed. Subscribe to this blog to get regular updates by email or RSS feed. Tell us what you think by commenting on individual posts. Together, we have a great opportunity to shape the future of our medical center.

Jesus Armas

By Jesús Armas, Government Affairs Liaison

Hello, my name is Jesus Armas. My role with this project is to work with numerous governmental agencies to get the green light to enable Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley to be constructed.

This is an exciting and new experience for me. For three decades, I worked for a number of California cities and was involved in reviewing various projects as they were presented to those cities for approval. In this case, though, my role is reversed, and I’m on the side trying to get a project approved. Definitely a new experience… and quite an eye-opener.

As you learn more about the project, I’m sure you will agree that not only is this project critically important to the community, but is also beautiful. In a nutshell, the project consists of a new hospital and medical office building, and related aesthetic and landscape improvements on the campus. Clearly, it represents a substantial commitment by the Sutter Health organization to Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro and adjoining communities that comprise the Eden Campus area.

A project of this scope and complexity only gets approved after it is thoroughly evaluated by various agencies. Typically, approvals are granted by local government bodies, such as a City Council or County Board of Supervisors. In this instance, however, because a hospital is involved, approvals must also be obtained from the State of California. Each level of government has jurisdiction over different aspects of the project—the State for the hospital, the County for the medical office building.

As part of the evaluation process, it is necessary to identify any potential impacts, such as traffic, noise, etc., associated with the project and to indicate how those impacts will be addressed…or “mitigated.” This assessment is documented through the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Once the DEIR is prepared, it is available for public review and comment for a period of 45 days. After the comment periods ends, a second or Final EIR is prepared that responds to all the comments submitted by interested individuals, organizations or agencies. The information contained in the FEIR is intended to help the decision makers, ultimately your elected officials (Board of Supervisors), decide whether or not to approve the project.

Before it even gets to the Board, however, Sutter will be presenting the project to both the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) and the County Planning Commission to gain their input and comments. In fact, Sutter has already attended two meetings of the MAC to obtain feedback and guidance on the project. Sutter is committed to working cooperatively with affected agencies to ensure that the project in its final form is one that we can all take pride in, and reflects positively on the community.

Here are some important dates for you to keep in mind:

  • The Draft EIR is expected to be released and available for public review around mid-November, with the comment period lasting until approximately the end of the year.
  • The Final EIR will be prepared thereafter.
  • It is our goal to have the MAC and County Planning Commission formally consider the project during the first quarter of 2009.
  • Assuming we meet this timeframe, the project, including the FEIR, will be considered by the Board of Supervisors next Spring.

I certainly want to hear from you about this project. I invite you to keep returning to this site to get the most current information about the project, and dates for various public meetings. But most of all, I invite you to send me your thoughts, comments and questions about this important community asset.

By George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center

The Next Generation Hospital. The new Sutter Medical Center, Castro Valley.

Hello, and welcome to our new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley blog. As CEO, I want to introduce our new blog site and invite you to participate in conversations with us as about the new hospital and medical office building that will replace Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. I’m very excited to be able to share information and engage with you as we create a state-of-the-art medical complex from design, through the regulatory approval process and finally through each phase of construction, up to the opening in early 2013. It is a long, exciting journey and I look forward to taking you along.

It is clear to us that we need to hear from you, our extended community—patients, neighbors, employees, physicians and business partners—in order to help us meet our goals. We know that many of you who are reading this blog will have strong opinions you would like to share with us. We too feel that communication should not be only one-way. We believe that all of us are more effective when we work together and collaborate to solve problems, address questions openly and discuss issues of importance to the entire community. After all, this is your community hospital and medical center, and we are here to serve your health needs as well as we possibly can. This is our primary goal.

To fulfill that mission and our pledge to include the community in building a medical center that will serve everyone’s needs, we have launched a Social Media outreach program using the Web to not only keep you informed, but to give you a chance to interact with us so we can address your questions and concerns. Our blog will serve as your Internet “headquarters,” where you can find updated information and links to our main Eden Medical Center web site, plus links to other popular online social networks where we have started groups and online communities for further discussion about the new medical center.

Through a variety of social media tools, including our blog, Internet video clips, podcasts, popular social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, FriendFeed and others, you will get regular updates on our progress, plus you’ll have the opportunity to comment back, ask questions, and give us your opinions and perspectives. You’ll be able to converse with hospital administrators, the architects, our Social Media project team, clinical staff and other key people from Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley. We’ll feature posts from guest bloggers, as well as podcast and Web video interviews.

By the way, we did a survey about the community’s use of social media and social networks, but if you did not know about it before, your input is still very valuable to us. You can still take the short, fun Social Media Survey.

We would love to know if you are aware of other social or online neighborhood networks that we may not have covered, such as a Yahoo, Google, AOL or Ning groups. If so, please let us know. We would be glad to participate on already existing online neighborhood, business or other networks to provide information and discuss relevant matters with your communities.

To date, much of the work in bringing our vision to reality has been behind the scenes. Our design team has worked closely with physicians, employees and medical center trustees to help envision our future campus. In the very near future, we will have more detailed exterior images that highlight the buildings and the campus changes. Much of this is still subject to refinement to meet local and State approvals.

We invite you to subscribe to our blog by email or RSS feed…please note the box above, where you can enter your email address, or you can click on the orange RSS symbol above it to subscribe in an online reader (such as Google Reader). Your email address will remain private and will not be shared with other organizations for commercial purposes. If you subscribe, you’ll be alerted by email or in your reader whenever there is a new post to read on our blog.

If you want more information about Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, you can find basic information on our About page.

For healthcare information, please visit our main web site.

Thank you for visiting, and please feel free to leave a comment or question in the space below. We’ll be glad to respond within a day or two.

George Bischalaney
President & CEO
Eden Medical Center

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  • Welcome To Our Blog

    We have launched a Social Media outreach program, using the Web to keep you informed about our progress in building the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, a Sutter Health affiliate, which will eventually replace Eden Medical Center. We want to provide you with a forum to interact with us so we can address your questions and concerns.

    Our blog will serve as your Internet "headquarters," where you can find updated information, plus you'll find links to other popular online social networks (see below), where we have started groups and online communities for further discussion about the new medical center.

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