After six years of construction, officials at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital will hold a grand opening Saturday and Sunday, complete with a limited number of public tours to highlight the architecture, art and services that will be part of the new building at Pueblo and Castillo streets in Santa Barbara.

The event will extend from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days, but tours are by reservation only, call 855-CHS-WELL, or 855-247-9355.

Officials say about 30 percent of the construction is still to be finished. The $700 million project began in 2005.

After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the state Legislature required that all in-patient rooms in California hospitals be retrofitted or rebuilt to withstand a magnitude-6.0 earthquake.

With no state or federal funding provided to meet the new mandate, hospitals were required to raise their own funds and meet a construction deadline of 2013.

The state mandate also prompted the rebuilding of Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria and contributed to a decision to close St. Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara.

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New construction and retrofitting are also being done at Santa Ynez and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospitals, both part of the Cottage Health System along with Santa Barbara Cottage.

With an exterior in Santa Barbara’s typical Spanish Colonial design, the hospital’s interior emphasizes natural light, more “green space” and environmentally sensitive elements that contribute to a “patient- and family-friendly” atmosphere, according to Cottage officials.

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