STAPLES - The Lakewood Health System construction site just outside of Staples is littered with crews working fervently to beat winter's chill.
The 150,000 square-foot hospital and clinic is scheduled to be completed next November. The entire project is estimated to cost $42 million.
"(The design will provide) easier access and efficiency for doctors and patients," said Tim Rice, Lakewood Health System president.
Lakewood Health System owns 60 acres of land, 20 acres of which is wetland, east of Staples. Rice said the hospital is being built around the wetlands, providing a natural healing environment to patients.
"The building was designed around the view," he said, explaining that when it's finished, the facility will have wetland or marsh decor throughout.
Rice said the building was designed with expandability in mind, so when it's needed, it can expand vertically or to the north or south.
The new hospital will have 25 private patient rooms, including birthing rooms, something the current hospital doesn't have.
Lakewood Health System currently operates a hospital, clinic and nursing home in its Staples facility. When the new building is finished, the hospital and clinic will move to the new location and all of the senior services will remain in the current building.
Rice said two more physicians may be hired to accommodate the new hospital and clinic, and up to 130 people may be hired to staff the two buildings.
Wade Cole, of 3D/I, a construction company based in Minneapolis, is construction manager of the project. Cole said his company specializes in building health-care facilities and recently worked on St. Joseph's Medical Center's expansion in Brainerd.
HEIDI LAKE, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5879.
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