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Published March 13, 2014, 05:52 PM

Cranes rising: Pace of construction picks up at site of new Sanford hospital

FARGO – The arrival of one of three tower cranes at the construction site of the new Sanford Medical Center is a sign the project is about to gain elevation.

By: Patrick Springer, INFORUM

FARGO – The arrival of one of three tower cranes at the construction site of the new Sanford Medical Center is a sign the project is about to gain elevation.

Two more tower cranes will be in place by late April, and structural steel for the 11-story, 1-million-square-foot building will start going up early this summer.

“It’s not tulips, it’s a tower crane. It’s obviously a sign of a lot of things starting to happen,” Paul Richard, president of Sanford Medical Center, said Thursday during a news conference updating the $494 million project.

The construction site near Interstate 94 and Veterans Boulevard eventually will be humming with 600 to 800 construction workers.

“We’re still on time, on budget and on schedule,” Richard said.

The structural steel is scheduled for delivery in July, with delivery of precast sections for the building’s enclosure to follow in October. The sections will feature brick with limestone accents.

The steel skeleton should be in place by the end of the year, and the building should be enclosed by the end of 2015.

At that point, “It will pretty much look like a finished building,” Richard said. “But a lot of work will remain on the interior.”

Completion is expected late in 2016, about a year after the enclosure is finished.

The first portion of the building to take shape will be a central elevator shaft, said Joanna Slominski, the construction executive overseeing the project for Mortenson Construction.

The medical center will have a capacity of 384 beds, 28 operating rooms, 51 emergency department bays and 18 clinic exam rooms. It will serve more than 4,200 patients daily.

The building, with an X-shaped footprint, will be 7 feet shorter than the downtown Fargo Radisson.

The project ranks as the seventh-largest hospital now under construction in the United States, according to Sanford and Mortenson Construction.

After the new medical center is completed, planning will begin on a future second phase, which will include clinical space. Initially, the center will provide hospital care.

Planning also continues for a renovated downtown medical center and Sanford’s South University Drive campus.

“Both will remain very busy clinical spaces,” Richard said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522

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