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TCHC building revamp enters next phase of construction

Randy Jansen of Peterson Sheet Metal in Bemidji removes a thermostat fixture Thursday in the old administration space of Tri-County Health Care as part of the demolition taking place in preparation for the installation of new specialist physician exam space. Brian Smith, a supervisor for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, said this phase of construction will be completed in August. Photo by Zach Kayser, Pioneer Journal

Tri-County Health Care (TCHC) began its next phase of renovations this week as part of an extensive multi-million-dollar development plan that included the new Rehabilitation Center completed earlier this year.

Work crews were busy Thursday with installing a sheet rock wall near the main entrance, as well as demolishing the old administrative office spaces on the second floor in preparation for installing 17 new specialist exam rooms in their place.

TCHC Facilities Director Nate Hendrickson and Communications Specialist Jil Fiemeyer said the wall will serve as a temporary measure to shield visitors from construction on several different structures, including a stairwell up to the new exam rooms and a hospital gift shop. All the changes in this phase – including specialist rooms, a stairwell and the gift shop – are planned to be done by mid- to late August, said Brian Smith, a supervisor for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company.

The wall, however, was to be completed Thursday, Smith said. Kraus-Anderson is planned to serve as general contractor for the hospital project from this phase forward. Smith said he had an average of 10-12 workers from various trade firms operating on the project, including electricians, plumbers, sheet rock workers and tapers.

Once this phase is completed and renovations to the patient reception desk begin, the construction workers and patients will change sides of the wall so patients will enter the hospital through what used to be a construction zone and vice versa. Additional features to be constructed after this phase include a more patient-accessible lab draw space, cardiac rehab and new mental health wing, according to a TCHC press release.