For more than a decade, residents in Tehachapi have pushed for a new hospital, hoping to replace the current facility they say is old and overcrowded.
But, now they have something to look forward to, after a groundbreaking for the new community hospital Thursday morning.
A big celebration was held in town, as the community gathered for the monumental ceremony, one they've been waiting years for.
"Today is a thrilling and an important event that we're able to stand here on the site of our new hospital, that will serve the needs of our community and our growing community for generations to come," said Kim Horowitz, family physician at Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District.
Last year, the future of the hospital was up in the air due to a CEQA lawsuit.
The case delayed constrction for more than a year, but was later dropped.
The current hospital was built in the early 1950's to replace the original building that collapsed in the July 1952 earthquake.
"At times we do reach capacity and we have to defer patients to other hospitals, but those hospitals are over 35 miles away," said Horowitz.
Del Troy moved to Tehachapi in 1958 so her husband could work at the hospital and practice medicine.
"When we came the population of the town was 2,800 and no developments, no Golden Hills, no Stallion Springs or Bear Valley Springs," said Troy, resident in Tehachapi. "It is definitely needed."
"There are staff packed into every corner of the hospital," Horowitz added. "In fact, we had a series of trailers that had to be added outsude in order to house some of the administrative staff."
The new hospital is being funded by two bonds voters passed in 2004 and 2009.
"Having a new larger facility will definitely increase our capacity to take care of folks right here at home," continued Horowitz.
Hospital staff say once the new hospital is built, they will still use the old facility as a clinic.
Construction is scheduled to be complete in two years.