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Sanford unveils plans for patient rooms, lobby in new south Fargo medical center

Three tall cranes surround the elevator shaft and central point as the steel structure takes shape for the new $494 million Sanford Fargo Medical Center Tuesday, July 29, 2014, near the Fargo and West Fargo border south of I-94. Dave Wallis / The Forum2 / 2

FARGO – Lots of light landing on porcelain tiles and wood-paneled walls will greet patients and visitors in the airy lobby of the new Sanford Medical Center.

Drawings for the four-story atrium lobby and patient rooms were unveiled Tuesday during an update of construction progress on the $494 million project, scheduled to receive patients in 2017.

Muted earthy tones bathed by natural light are a mainstay in the design, with the medical center’s X-shaped tower enabling each patient room to have a view, said Don Marty, a Sanford vice president who is overseeing the project.

“We wanted to keep it light and informal,” Marty said during a presentation showing drawings of the rooms and four-story lobby, encompassing 4,000 square feet.

Native North Dakota sunflowers are a design motif incorporated throughout the interior.

Sketches included a depiction of a labor and delivery room for the family birth center, showing a bassinette as well as couch and chair in a family area.

Each room will be about 345 square feet, including bathroom, and supplies can be restocked from the corridor, without disrupting the infant and mother.

Neonatal intensive care nursery rooms are similarly appointed, with couch and chair in the family visitation area.

Room standardization enables greater efficiency and flexibility, allowing the space to be adapted for use, Marty said.

A towering concrete elevator core, nearing its 11-story completion, is the most prominent feature of the construction project as it rises from near the Veterans Boulevard interchange with Interstate 94.

The elevator shaft, the building’s central anchor for connecting spans, should be completed by mid-August.

Cranes and crews continue erecting structural steel beams for the million-square-foot center, work that is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Starting in October, prefabricated enclosure panels will begin to arrive, and will be lifted into place by cranes to enclose the building.

“We are progressing very well,” said Paul Richard, president of Sanford Medical Center. “We’re on budget, on time.”

At present, between 250 and 275 workers are on site, a number that will swell at its peak to around 600 by mid-2015, said Joanna Slominski, construction executive for Mortenson Construction, which is managing the project in partnership with Nor-Son Inc.

Construction is expected to conclude late in 2016 or early 2017. The first phase will be dedicated to hospital and inpatient care, with completion of clinical space to follow in a second phase.

Patrick Springer

Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to