UCI Medical Center Replacement Hospital, Archaeological and Paleontological Monitoring

Client: University of California, Facilities and Construction

Location:Orange County, CA

UltraSystems provided archaeological/paleontological monitoring for the UCI Medical Center Replacement Hospital. This project consisted of three main elements: (1) construction of a new hospital to meet SB 1953 requirements by 2008; (2) associated renovations and non-structural bracing in Building 1A to meet SB 1953 requirements; and (3) construction of a new chiller plant and required utility upgrades to existing central plant facilities, as well as structural and non-structural improvements mandated by SB 1953 legislation.

The primary purpose of the monitoring was to ensure proper handling of cultural resources if uncovered during earth-moving operations. If cultural resources were encountered during the course of the excavation or rough-grading program, the monitor had the authority to temporarily halt or divert earthmoving activities until the importance of the find(s) could be ascertained. UltraSystems determined that a paleontological monitor familiar with the extraction and recognition of vertebrate microfossils would need to monitor the deeper parts of the borings for the soldier beams. Sediment samples from the deeper parts would be tested periodically for the presence of vertebrate microfossils. The results of these tests would provide data to make a more accurate assessment of what might be expected in the subsequent mass excavation.