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"A doggone good town to get sick in"

by Karin L. Nauber

“You and everyone here—your interest made this a reality. Nicole (Bjerke—CentraCare Foundation) and Dan (Swenson—Administrator) made this a reality. With your help and our doctors, with all you’ve done to make this a reality—Long Prairie is now a doggone good town to get sick in!”

With this exclamation, Building a Healthy Community Capital Campaign Committee Member Rodger Bense drew in the gathered crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new CentraCare Health—Long Prairie Medical Campus which was set to open its doors for service to the community on October 14.

There were several speakers during the grand event on October 9 which boasted approximately 1000 in attendance.

The community raised $2.55 million which surpassed the goal of $2 million.

Mortenson Construction’s Mike Labukas had some great stats to go with the beautiful building.

He said that on May 9, 2016, the ground was broken and that 300,000 yards of earth was moved.

“That is about 21,000 dump trucks full,” he said.

The building holds about 24 miles of rebar in the foundation along with 5000 pieces of structural steel, the longest of which is 50 feet long.

“End to end, that is about four miles of steel along with 40 miles of steel studs,” said Labukas.

In addition to that, there is 25 miles of wire and over 1000 outlets and switches to make the facility complete.

Labukas said that they had 322 work days from start to finish with over 100,000 hours.

“The amazing part is that 80,000 of those hours were put in by men and women who live in or near Todd County,” said Labukas.

He said that he had not been part of a project like this before with so much community involvement.

“There were 100 tours given throughout the project with 750 people on those tours,” he said.

“This is one of the best and most advanced hospitals for the best community in Minnesota. Community is the most important part of this whole thing,” he said.

Administrator Dan Swenson summed up everyone’s words by saying that this facility will be transformational to Long Prairie.

From all the work that went into the new facility—including a Bistro that is open to the public—it's apparent that community is a focus of the new CentraCare Health—Long Prairie Medical Campus-open now!

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