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Published April 19, 2012, 09:12 PM

Altru's Main Campus Expansion Pushed Back

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Altru Health System is pushing back its main campus expansion plans. The original plan was to finish in 10 years but now construction isn't expected to end until 2024.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Altru Health System is pushing back its main campus expansion plans. The original plan was to finish in 10 years but now construction isn't expected to end until 2024.

The main focus right now is the four buildings Altru recently acquired in the south end of town. Even though finishing touches won't be complete for another 12 years, the new clinic will be opening its doors by June or July.

Original plans to renovate the main campus were made before Altru purchased the building where Doctors Hospital was supposed to open.

"It was all about space for us," Altru COO Brad Wehe said.

Now, executives are refocusing.

"We wanted to integrate whatever we were going to do there with the master plan that we had for this campus," Altru Chief Planning Executive Dennis Reisnour said.

Which means construction on the main campus will wait a year or so.

"Our emphasis on that first phase is that South Washington campus," Wehe said.

One of the main things Altru wants to accomplish in this process is to keep the South Columbia road campus and the south end site separate to avoid having to transport patients back and forth for procedures.

"Have the programs that are down there be able to stand free rather than be dependent on this campus," Reisnour said.

"It's important they don't have to go between the two campuses," Wehe said.

Services provided by the site on South Washington St. will include a GI and endoscopy unit, sleep center, an imaging and lab center among others things. But you won't notice much change on the outside.

"I don't know that you'll see major construction," Wehe said.

It's the interior that will be altered to best fit the hospital's needs.

"How to use those facilities to make the best use out of that space and get it in use as quickly as we can," Reisnour said.

The main focus will always be the patients, but for the future, Altru hopes to provide the same services on both sides of town.

"We do believe that we can have a really strong satellite facility on South Washington Street that compliments this campus very well," Reisnour said.

There won't be an emergency room in the south end location because Altru doesn't see a point in having two separate trauma facilities.

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