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March LifeCare Site Demolition Nears Completion

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The first phase of demolition at the approved March LifeCare project was completed when two excavators with 10,000 pound breakers hammered away at the base of the old March AFB Hospital until it collapsed.

“Today is yet another major milestone in making way for this fully-integrated medical campus,” said Lori Stone, March Joint Powers Authority Executive Director.

Since July 2010, McCarthy Building Companies, the March LifeCare master construction manager, has been working with US Demolition to raze a total of 22 buildings on the former base land before construction of the new facilities can begin. Bragg Crane Co. brought in an American 125-ton crane with a 145-ft.

boom and jib, lifting an 8,000 lb. wrecking ball for the initial work on the hospital which was kicked-off March 28th at an event featuring former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown and attended by over 500 people.

“We fought hard for this initial contract and were proud of the fact that we finished on schedule,” said Duane Pate, Project Manager, US Demolition.

Chris Dickinson US Demolition Superintendent, worked on-site daily during the last six months, “I live here in Riverside County and I’m happy to be see something to revitalize this area since the base was decommissioned.

We are all very thankful for the work, even the member of Local 1184 expressed gratitude for the work, since so many had been out of work for so long.”

McCarthy Assistant Project Manager Laura Barton said McCarthy remains excited to be a part of such a innovative vision for healthcare. “We look forward to our continued work on building the first medical city in the United States.”

When completed, March LifeCare will include six-million square feet of healthcare related structures including a 550-bed hospital, a senior continuum of over 700 beds, medical office buildings, retail, ambulatory care facilities, education, research and training facilities, plus a hotel, and a healing institute.

Construction is planned in phases and will provide some 12,700 local construction jobs and employ 7,200 permanent medical-related personnel when completed.

Don Ecker, March LifeCare Founder/Chairman, was present for the final phase of the hospital deconstruction, “I can’t wait to continue working with both McCarthy and US Demolition on the next phases of our demolition and infrastructure construction.”

In 1993 March Air Force Base was selected for realignment and in 1996 it became March Reserve Base. With March’s realignment approximately 4,400 acres of property and facilities were declared surplus and available for disposal actions. With that realignment, March JPA was created with the fundamental purpose of replacing the economic benefits to the local economy.

The March JPA projects 38,000 permanent jobs at build out of its entire development area. Stone stated, “The March LifeCare Campus goes a long way in redeveloping the former March Air Force Base and our goal of bringing good jobs to Riverside County.”

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