Vision Northland is nearing completion

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Construction is nearly complete on the new hospital for Essentia Health. WDIO was part of a tour on Friday morning.

The new hospital is 98% complete, and the rest of the work needs warmer weather to finish up.

Substantial completion means all major work on the replacement St. Mary’s Medical Center is largely finished and the building is ready for its intended use – but that doesn’t mean Essentia will begin using it just yet.

Work continues in various areas on the project, but it is related to the building’s aesthetics and elements that require warmer weather, among other things.  

“We’re very proud of this day because it marks how far we’ve come with this state-of-the-art health care facility,” said Dan Cebelinski, Essentia’s director of facilities. “Now we get to start counting down the days until we can open the doors to patients.” 

Cebelinski said they are re-using a lot of things from St. Mary’s. But those will come over close to patient day or the. All the things coming in now are new items.

This also means that McGough Construction, the general contractor, will transfer control of the building to Essentia. However, McGough will maintain a presence on site until the building is 100% complete.  

Jeff Dzurik, executive vice president for project management of McGough, said, “We have over 2.8 million hours worked on site, and we have not had any serious accidents. We are thrilled with that.”

The next step is to receive the certificate of occupancy from the City of Duluth, which, among other things, verifies all life-safety measures are in place and mechanical systems are operational. Once that is complete, Essentia can start moving the equipment into the building and the care teams can begin training in this new space, so they are ready to deliver seamless patient care as soon as the facility opens.

“We’re really excited for that next step because that’s when the hospital will truly take form for our world-class health care workers,” said Dr. Robert Erickson, the physician lead for the project. “We designed this building with them in mind, and soon they will be able to see how their thoughts and ideas were put into action to ensure we can continue delivering the finest health care in the region.”    

The first patient day is anticipated in the third quarter of this year.