Avera on Louise takes shape, prepares for future expansion

March 7, 2019

The city’s largest building project is on track for an early October opening and is being designed so that it could get even bigger.

Avera McKennan leaders held a tour Thursday for city officials, giving an updated look at the 270,000-square-foot building at 69th Street and Louise Avenue.

“All of us are pleased at how it’s moving along at such a fast pace,” said Dave Flicek, president and CEO of Avera McKennan.

“I still remember it as a cornfield, and now there are entire floors almost done. It’s amazing.”

The building is designed to eventually expand to the south and west, creating a U-shaped complex.

An underground tunnel has been built into the hospital to allow for access to future development.

The five-story hospital’s operating suites and patient rooms are starting to come together.

“They’re building like ants over here,” Flicek said. “When people tour, some are shocked by how far along it is.”

The hospital will take some pressure off the main Avera McKennan campus and give the organization redundancy in areas such as pharmacy, sterilization and laboratory services.

A three-story atrium connects the hospital with a three-story medical office building.

“The atrium is really coming along nicely,” Flicek said, adding it will be substantially complete by later this spring with plans to host a fundraising event.

“It’s going to be spacious and full of light and a great care setting for our patients and caregivers.”

He tours about every three weeks and said the progress is consistent and significant.

“Hats off to the staff,” he said. “The scope of this facility has deviated very little, and that’s why it’s on time and on budget. We have a very disciplined planning team.”

The medical office building is scheduled to be completed by late summer, he added. It will include specialties such as orthopedics, gastroenterology, rheumatology and internal medicine.

The entire building is expected to be done by early October.

“The project is going very smoothly,” said Randy Knecht, CEO of Journey Group, the construction manager at risk.

“It has a lot to do with teamwork and collaboration with the architect and the trade contractors on the project. Everyone is working toward a common goal. It’s been a really fun project to be part of.”

Take a first look inside Avera on Louise, set to open later this year

Avera on Louise takes shape, prepares for future expansion

The city’s largest building project is on track for an early October opening and being designed so that it could get even bigger.

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