FARGO — After construction of the new Prairie St. John's stopped during the pandemic, work has cranked up the last few months, and iron beams have been going up floor after floor.

"We are going to go from 110 beds to 128 beds," said Prairie St. John's CEO Jeff Herman. "We have maxed out, we filled every one of those beds in the last year."

On Tuesday, July 20, city and civic leaders signed the final beam that would lifted to the top of the new hospital. The new Prairie St. John's will address the ever growing crisis of people battling addiction and mental health issues, including the very young.

"It is shocking at times. Last spring we saw record numbers of kid beds," Herman said. "Normally, we have 39 kid beds. We went up to 75 last March and April. It was astonishing, we had never been there."

On a normal day, Prairie is seeing close to 300 people spread out across its inpatient hospital, day treatment center and residential treatment.

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Those who deal with people living with mental health and addiction issues every day, say the new facility will be great, as long as it is accessible to all.

Adam Martin with the F-5 project works with those out of prison who may be also battling addiction.

"In the past across North Dakota, you either had to have money or insurance, and in North Dakota, there are people who have both or one or the other," Martin said.

After Prairie administrators told city leaders about the role this new center will play in the community, workers raised the 1500 pound chunk of steel. The last beam for the new hospital now in place.