Winneshiek Medical Center announces expansion plans

Released: 10/20/21

At the October 2021 meeting, the Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees unanimously approved the medical center moving forward with designing an expansion and renovation project of their Decorah campus.  The approval is the start of a master facility plan that has been under development since 2017 and was paused during the COVID-19 response.

Specifically, the Board approved WMC’s contract with the architectural firm, Wold Architecture and Engineering, as the first step in implementing the master facility plan. Along with WMC leadership and stakeholders, Wold will begin designing renovation and new construction, including: Obstetrics, Surgery, a two story addition above the Emergency Department for specialty services and revamping the current clinic space for primary care.  The Board must give a separate approval after designs are complete and full costs are known prior to construction.

Current cost estimates are around $40 million to complete all facets of this project.  WMC intends to pursue low interest USDA loans in conjunction with utilizing its cash reserves and partnering with local lenders to fund this project.  The medical center does not intend to levy additional taxes to pay for the project.

The design portion will take approximately 10 months, and construction will follow, taking 28-32 months.  Subsequent phases of the master facility plan will be re-assessed at the completion of this project, and will include Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, inpatient rooms, Main Registration, and education/meeting rooms.

Steve Slessor, chief administrative officer, Winneshiek Medical Center, says, “WMC is in an excellent position financially to take on debt for this exciting project to plan for our future.  The staff, providers and leadership team should absolutely be commended for the work over the past years to get WMC to a place financially where this is not just possible, but prudent.”

Winneshiek Board of Trustee’s President Clark Goltz says, “This is a pivotal time for Winneshiek Medical Center. It is exciting to be able to be part of such an important project in the history of the medical center.  We moved into our current facility in 1971, and now, 50 years later, are embarking on a renovation project that will take us well into the future.”

As the expansion and renovation project unfolds, Winneshiek Medical Center will publically share details of the project, and plan construction in ways that minimize disruptions in services.

Thomas Marquardt, D.P.M., chief medical officer, Winneshiek Medical Center, says, “WMC is building significant momentum by adding locations, services, staff and physicians.  We need facilities that reflect the excellence of our people, create an environment for great patient care and allow for us to continue growing to serve as a regional hub for health care services.”

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