Renova drive re-opened, an idea becomes reality

Renova DriveThis week marks a historic milestone in the completion of the new (and earthquake safe) VMC – Renova Drive re-opened Monday to traffic, creating a new entrance to the main Valley Medical Center campus.

The new road provides a streamlined access point to both VMC and Valley Specialty Center, and will serve the new VMC hospital when it’s done and open in 2013. It will ease congestion and provide better visual and directional cues to visitors. Traffic lights on Bascom have been moved, and in time, the construction zone will be replaced with plantings and trees.

The VMC Foundation played a unique role in making the new Renova Drive entrance a reality. After reviewing plans for the new hospital in 2008, John Sobrato, the highly successful Silicon Valley developer and member of the VMC Foundation Board of Directors, observed that the natural entrance point to VMC on Bascom Avenue and Renova Drive – one that would make it easiest for driver to find the hospital and manage the flow of traffic – was obscured by a large and unattractive 50-year old building that was falling apart. The “Public Health Building” (which housed, amongst other things, the office where residents obtained birth and death certificates) had long served no valuable purpose. Sobrato made the call – tear down that building to create the proper entrance point for the hospital. In turn, he would donate office space to the County in the Sobrato Non-profit Center to compensate. Within days, a new plan was hatched, resulting in the work completed this week.

It won’t go down as his most famous project, but as the entry point to the busiest and largest hospital in the region, it will be one of his most well-used. On behalf of hospital-visiting motorists everywhere, thank you John.