By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN An expansion being planned by the Ridgeview Medical Center could more than double the size of its Delano campus.
Site and building plans for the 11,000-square-foot expansion will be presented to the Delano City Council Tuesday, Sept. 20 at its regular meeting. The Delano Planning Commission met last Monday night and is recommending approval of the plans by the council.
In 2002, a 8,379-square-foot building was constructed at 916 St. Peter Avenue in Delano, with the intent to eventually accommodate future expansion.
A site and building plan approval and parking lot setback variance to allow the 11,000-square-foot expansion of the existing clinic will increase the total floor area of the facility to 19,426 square feet.
“Having them expand here now is a huge commitment from them as far as being here and serving the area,” Delano Mayor Dale Graunke said. “It’s a good, central area for the neighboring communities, and we are very fortunate to have them here.”
Mike Phelps, the chief administrative officer of Ridgeview, said the plan is to break ground in October, work through the winter, with the first phase expected to be complete by late spring of 2012. The second phase is expected to be complete toward the middle to end of summer 2012.
The first phase entails a “substantial expansion” of the clinic space, Phelps said.
“The Ridgeview clinic which operates now will not cease operation during construction,” Phelps added, noting the first phase will be new construction, and the second will be renovation of the existing space.
Phelps said he is anticipating no patient service interruptions due to the construction efforts, and said the additional space will allow for more services to be offered in Delano.
“Conceptually, we want to bring a breadth of services to the community that can meet the needs of the entire family,” he said. This will be accomplished through expanded services as well as new partners.
He said one example of the expanded services will be Ridgeview’s rehabilitation offerings in Delano.
“We’ve expanded our coverage of the school for sports rehab,” Phelps said, noting there have been space constraints in this area. About 2,800 square feet of the expansion will be dedicated to rehabilitation. A regional pediatric clinic may also be included. In addition, the proposal will include a relocation of the main entrance to St. Peter Avenue, closing the Tiger Drive access.
Graunke said expanded services at the Ridgeview facility will hopefully mean more people coming to town, which could be helpful to other businesses.
“We’ve had a long-standing relationship, obviously, with this community and its members,” Phelps said. “We feel it’s a growing area and want to make this a mini destination point for anyone needing health care in that region.”
“I’m really excited,” Phelps said of the expansion. “I hope the community will be, too.”