Pete Aguilar signing a pedestal with a patient

Rep. Pete Aguilar (right) signs one of the pedestals that will support the new hospital. Next to him is LLUCH patient Mark Varela, 9, from Riverside.

At the base of a new hospital complex currently under construction at Loma Linda University Health will stand 126 steel pedestals, each weighing approximately 19,000 pounds.

On Monday, August 21, Representative Pete Aguilar visited the construction site to put his mark on one of the pedestals by signing it along with several junior philanthropists and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) patients.

Rep. Pete Aguilar and Kids Pedestal Signing from Loma Linda University Health on Vimeo.

“Loma Linda University Health is an absolute treasure,” Aguilar said. “The entire staff is dedicated to protecting patients, and that’s exactly what this new facility will do.”

Joining Aguilar in the signing were a handful of junior philanthropists, including Ulysses Hsu, 9, and Max Hilliard, 10, who each raised money at their own birthday parties to donate to Vision 2020: The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow in support of the new LLUCH tower.

“I feel very proud that a lot of people have been inspired to do more for Vision 2020,” Hsu said. “We want to help people feel better.”

Hsu is founder of the birthday club at LLUCH, which is just one way to build hope for the community. Kids are encouraged to ask friends and family to make a donation to Vision 2020 in honor of their birthday.

The steel pedestal is the cornerstone of the earthquake protection system for the hospital. The entire weight if the complex is carried by these steel pedestals. Sliding bearings will be mounted to the top of the pedestals to isolate the building from the damaging effects of horizontal earthquake shaking.

The holes on the faces of each pedestal will allow for the possibility of future vertical shock absorbers to be installed to isolate the building from vertical earthquake shaking, creating the world’s first seismically isolated hospital building.