Grand Opening of Rehabilitated Historic University Building at Scripps Mercy Hospital

The newly rehabilitated Woltman Family College Building at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego has opened for cancer patient and family support services. Photograph courtesy Scripps.

Instead of demolishing a vacant historic structure built nearly a century ago and used to train nurses, the building takes on a new purpose.

The newly rehabilitated Woltman Family College Building at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego has opened for cancer patient and family support services.

Built in 1926, the Italian Renaissance-style building once known as Mercy College of Nursing continues.

After the college closed in 1970, the building was used for a variety of purposes until the San Diego Board of Historic Resources designated it a historic landmark in 1999.

Since then, it has remained mostly vacant until rehabilitation work begins in 2020. The rehabilitated building also currently houses various Scripps administrative departments, as well as temporary space for contractors and consultants while they work. on the development of the hospital’s ongoing master plan.

The building, a four-story reinforced concrete structure with approximately 42,000 square feet of space, is renamed the Woltman Family College Building in honor of their philanthropic donation to the project.

charm and more

Upon entering the building, visitors will encounter a variety of distinctive design features. On the first floor, just beyond the main entrance, are three decorative fireplaces, located in the former living room, library and office (now part of Cancer Support Services). Each fireplace features original tiles created by Ernest Batchelder, considered an important contributor to the American Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s.

Other interior features of the building that have been restored include French and single-pane doors with transom windows, arched hallway passageways, door and window surrounds, crown molding, and fitted wardrobes.

The exterior of the building evokes an air of charm, warmth and character, with its pale peach stucco walls, ornate molded stone embellishments, wrought iron railings, wood framed windows and wooden roof. mission clay tiles.

A decorative concrete facade frames the building’s main entrance, which is accessed through a recessed space adorned with a ceramic tile wall treatment, hand-painted tile trim and terracotta tile flooring . Attached directly above the original entrance doors, a historic sign announces the building’s previous function: “Mercy College of Nursing”.

Updated and better than ever

The rehabilitation began with a detailed adaptive reuse plan to restore the building’s utility in a way that allows for effective contemporary use, while preserving its significant historic features. Efforts have focused on restoring existing construction materials where possible and re-fabricating deteriorated elements to match original specifications where necessary.

The rehabilitation works also included modern upgrades to meet current functional and regulatory requirements. This included installing new mechanical systems, such as plumbing, electrical, fire protection, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The building also incorporates several new features to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities, including an exterior wheelchair elevator, interior elevator, interior ramps, and accessible restrooms.

“Mercy College of Nursing is an important connection to the histories of Scripps and San Diego, so we are excited to preserve its legacy for future generations,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “This is an example of intelligent adaptive use planning that blends the past with the present, allowing us to use space for new purposes as we improve the Scripps Mercy San Diego Hospital campus. It is both a window on the past and a watchtower towards the future.

New role

Now, the structure houses cancer support services for patients receiving care at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center sites, including the nearby Prebys Cancer Center on the Scripps Mercy campus in San Diego. Services include patient navigation, pastoral counseling, family counseling, fitness classes, yoga, meditation, a patient resource library, wig shop and more.

Scripps Mercy San Diego is currently in the early stages of developing a master plan that will involve the construction of a new replacement hospital tower and support buildings. The new Prebys Cancer Center, a comprehensive outpatient facility, opened on campus last fall.

“Philanthropy has been at the heart of Scripps since its founding by Ellen Browning Scripps and Mother Mary Michael Cummings, who dedicated themselves to providing high quality, socially responsible health care to the San Diego community,” said John Engle, senior vice president of the company. , and Chief Development Officer at Scripps Health. “The generosity of donors has been essential to the growth and success of Scripps Mercy Hospital for more than a century and we need continued philanthropic support to make future expansion a reality.”

Those interested in visiting the Woltman Family College Building Patient Resource Library and Wig Shop should make an appointment by contacting [email protected] and those interested in fitness classes can call 1- 800-SCRIPPS.

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