Altru Health Restarting Construction on $380 Million Project

North Dakota Hospital paused construction due to pandemic to focus on patients and employees

By Chris Miller, Assistant Editor, Facility Market
July 26, 2021

Altru Health System is restarting construction on its previously paused hospital project this fall. The Grand Forks, North Dakota, facility stalled construction on this building due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Altru paused construction to focus its operational resources on patient care and employee support. There is no re-work necessary on the hospital, as the site was appropriately secured when construction was temporarily stopped.

The facility plans to be seven stories and accommodate 226 patient beds and a 16-bed observation unit, according to the Grand Forks Herald. In 2019, Altru changed its original plan to a five-story building, and reduced the budget for the project. The new design also includes boiler plant updates and will cost about $380 million in total. Construction will start this fall and the new hospital is scheduled to open in 2024.

Updates to the healthcare facility will incorporate private rooms in the neonatal intensive care unit, pre- and post-operative rooms and state-of-the-art operating rooms. There will be a room devoted to trauma operation with a trauma elevator for quick transport, and on-premise equipment that is not there at this point in the current facility.

The hospital will feature a new aesthetic appearance and wayfinding experience, with walkways dedicated specifically for patients and visitors. October is the month in which construction is slated by Altru Health System. It has been reported that about 18 percent of the work had already been completed when the construction had to be stopped for pandemic-related reasons. Until more work on the building starts in several months, hospital executives are focusing on completing the design work, securing financing, winning state approvals and getting contractors back to the site ready to go.

This news comes around the same time that COVID-19 hospitalizations drop into single digits for North Dakota. Nine people are still hospitalized, down from the low 30s a month ago. The state confirmed 110,707 virus cases since the beginning of the pandemic in the middle of March 2020. Other statistics for North Dakota include 109,032 recoveries, 1,528 deaths and 4,347 hospitalizations.

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