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Dr. Eric Lunn, who serves as president of the Altru Health System, discusses the decision to build a new hospital. (Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald)

Altru to build hospital at current location

Altru Health Systems plans to build its proposed hospital at its current campus in Grand Forks.

Officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 6, it would build north of the current facility at 1200 S. Columbia Road. A more-than $250 million complex will replace the 41-year-old hospital.

“We have an incredible opportunity to continue development of our Columbia Road campus,”  Altru Chief Strategy Officer Dennis Reisnour said in a statement, “There is space for expansion and parking and excellent access from major roads and the interstate for our regional patients.”

Altru leadership announced in early November intentions to break ground on the project next year, with a completion date slated for 2022. The health system held off on making the location of the new hospital public until it gathered input from stakeholders, patients and staff.

Strategic plans for building a hospital date back to 2010, though expansion of the health system to a south Grand Forks campus helped delay construction, Reisnour previously said to a Herald reporter. A structural failure in late December 2016 prompted Altru leadership to revisit and eventually greenlight a hospital project.

Executives look at several sites across Grand Forks for the project, but they didn’t meet criteria determined by a planning steering committee and engineers, according to a news release.

“These sites posed traffic complications, limited or complicated access for regional patients, lacked convenience to current Altru services, and needed costly site preparation to restructure the land,” the release said.

The health system plans to hold more workshops throughout the planning and construction process, according to the release.

Check back for updates as this story develops.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248