It's now looking like the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital won't open until 2018.
"There are over a half-dozen issues for the hospital including changes in accounting, audits and the pharmacy. The new projected date for the hospital to open is April of 2018," Eugene Suksi, chief executive officer of the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District, said during the May 3 meeting of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council.
Residents of Greater Tehachapi have sought a hospital with expanded services for more than two decades.
"We are hoping that the staff and stock certifications, certification of occupation, pharmacy changes, heating and air conditioning in the building will be updated," said David Eastman, interim president of Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley. "The codes for 2017 are different than two years ago and once these issues are fixed the building can be opened to receive patients."
Some codes and requirements have changed since construction on the hospital began. While the opening date is not set in stone, Eastman said everything is being done to see if the additional certifications can be addressed earlier than next year.
Teresa Adamo, marketing manager for Adventist Health, added, "When we talk about the big picture to the community, we are just as anxious as everyone else for the hospital to open, but we have to make sure it is a safe facility meeting all requirements."
Adamo also said, "All elements have to be ready before we request an inspection. It needs to be able to take care of patients immediately at the time of inspection."
The total construction cost for Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley will be slightly more than $100 million. Additional funds will be put into the facility to build the information technology infrastructure and to get the hospital ready for opening.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the cost of construction.