On Greenley Road, medical offices are being snapped up almost as fast as they're being built.

Steel framing for two medical office buildings near the new Sonora Regional Medical Center started going up last week. More than a dozen doctors are slated to move in to the buildings by March of 2004, said contractor Del Ray Olberg.

The hospital is scheduled to open this fall.

Dr. Ed Clinite represents a 10-physician group that will move into the larger of the two buildings, called Mountain Medical Center. It will be two stories and 26,000 square feet.

Clinite said the offices will provide space for doctors who specialize in lungs, kidneys and other areas, so Sonora residents won't have to be referred to doctors in Modesto for treatment.

"There's a satellite clinic, but there's really no one who can do inpatient dialysis," he said of the medical offerings here now. "This new building would just provide them space, especially if you want to be independent of the hospital."

Clinite said he's excited about the prospect of being within walking distance of the new 71-bed hospital, which is touted as offering expanded cardiac, cancer and surgical services.

"It's much more efficient," Clinite said. "It's better for the patients who need to use the hospital facilities."

A smaller, one-story building called Live Oak Medical Center will be built next door to Mountain Medical. Live Oak will house four physicians in 11,000 square feet.

The clinics will have similar structural components, Olberg said, with the same exterior coloring meant to complement the new hospital. The buildings will be accessed via Delnero Road and Delnero Lane, but will be on a new road called Guzzi Lane, he said.

A new traffic light is being installed at the intersection of Greenley and Delnero roads. Val Devitt, project coordinator for the new hospital, said he expects PG&E to finish wiring the light in about a week, and then it's up to the county to activate the signal. The new light was a condition the hospital had to meet to gain approval from the city for its new building.