Sanford Health mulls building new hospital in Fargo that would cost up to $300 million

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sanford explores new hospital in Fargo

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Sanford Health is exploring the idea of building a hospital in North Dakota’s largest city that would cost as much as $300 million. It would be the largest project in Fargo’s history.

The plan being considered by the health system’s board would put a new health center in Fargo between 2013 and 2016. It would be the largest single project for the network since a merger last year united Sanford Health of Sioux Falls and Fargo-based MeritCare.

“The new facility would take us into the 100-year future,” said Dennis Millirons, president of MeritCare Medical Center in Fargo.

Melissa Gaulrapp in Fargo’s building inspections office said no other project in the city would rival the cost of the proposed hospital. As a comparison, the Fargodome opened in 1992 for $50 million.

Sanford-MeritCare has two hospitals in Fargo: a 380-bed downtown center on 20 acres and a 200-bed unit on a smaller campus. The new hospital would be on 100 acres MeritCare bought in 2000 in south Fargo. Sanford’s main hospital in Sioux Falls has 545 beds.

Millirons said health system board members plan to discuss the new hospital as a concept at a planning retreat.

“If the board agrees with us, we need to start the planning process,” he said.

The possible Fargo plans come on top of other expansions for Sanford-MeritCare, which in July will shorten its name to Sanford.

The new Sanford Center opened in Sioux Falls last week as a research and corporate headquarters. A $73 million heart hospital will open next year in the city, and children’s clinics are planned in Oregon and Ireland. A $12 million fitness center is planned in Fargo that Sanford and the YMCA will operate together.

Sanford also is replacing a 25-bed hospital in Thief River Falls, Minn., and building a $55 million hospital to open in 2012 in Aberdeen.

Information from: Argus Leader,

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