INSIDE LOOK: Essentia Health says new medical center is 98% built

The new Essentia St.Mary's Medical Center features recycled material from areas around Duluth.
The new Essentia St.Mary's Medical Center features recycled material from areas around Duluth.(Jamie Paquette)
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 12:11 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Essentia Health announced Friday that the new Essentia St. Mary’s Medical Center in downtown Duluth is “98% done.”

The new hospital features more than 340 beds and rooms for patients, with brand new technology integrated into the building.

Leaders with Essentia said the rapidly approaching completion is exciting.

“We’re really excited to have this project reach completion, we’re really proud of all the teams working on the project,” Dan Cebelinski, Director of Facilities for Essentia, said.

The hospital, in total, will cost around $900 million.

While the price tag is big, Dr. Robert Erickson said it’s worth it.

“I think what we’re really looking forward to as a clinic is not only all the innovations we have but also the private patient space,” he said. “So you have a healing area for the family no one really wants to be in the hospital, but if they have to be in the hospital, we want them to be in a healing environment.”

Erickson said the hospital will begin taking patients soon.

“The current plan is the third quarter of 2023,” he said.

The project proved challenging for contractors, who had to deal with lingering issues from the pandemic.

“We’ve had to change a number of times, we’re getting materials that need to go in and be installed,” Jeff Dzurik, a project manager of McGough Construction, said.

Dzurik said flexibility among his colleagues and hospital staff has been paramount.

“You have to come up with plan B or plan C,” he said. “We were definitely later in the alphabet in many, many circumstances.”

Now, the hospital will move patients over to the hospital in a two-week period sometime between July and September.

According to Dr. Erickson, the hospital will use the current skywalk system to move patients from the old Essentia St. Mary’s to the new one.

Some streets surrounding the new hospital will also open up this month.