Opening of L.A.’s Reagan Hospital Delayed

Tue May 15, 2007 - West Edition

LOS ANGELES (AP) The opening of a hospital named for late President Ronald Reagan has been pushed back again following years of construction delays and cost overruns.

The 525-bed Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood originally was scheduled to start operations in 2004 but that date was postponed several times.

Officials at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the opening this fall may have to wait until next year.

However, a June 4 dedication will go ahead because invitations already have been sent to dignitaries, including famed architect I.M. Pei.

The hospital, which would replace the existing UCLA Medical Center, had a nearly $598-million budget in 1998 but that has grown to more than $829 million.

UCLA officials have attributed previous delays and budget increases to the rising costs of construction materials and to design changes to accommodate medical advances.