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Ground breaks for new hospital in Albert Lea

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (FOX47) — The Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition started a mission nearly four years ago to build a hospital in the city.

Their vision came true on Thursday, as ground broke on phase one of the project. It will be a MercyOne hospital and the location is at the old Herbergers store in Northbridge Mall at 2440 Bridge Avenue.

Phase one construction is focused on 14,000 square feet and will house primary care and some specialty services. The Albert Lea community raised $5 million for the project. Leaders of the project said it’s a labor of love.

“I’ve never been so proud of Albert Lea,” Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition President Bran Arends said. “This is a testament to the perseverance, and dedication and the will of the citizens of Albert Lea. It was them who deserve the credit here today. Not only do we want these important services in Albert Lea, but we need them. We need them.”

This will be MercyOne’s first hospital in Minnesota.

“2020 was a year filled with challenges,” MercyOne North Iowa President Rod Schlader said. “While challenges can cause delays, our commitment to this project, and to the community of Albert Lea, remains strong.”

Phase one is projected to be done by July 1, 2021. In total, there are five phases planned for the 64,000 square foot space. Additional plans include services for outpatient surgery and retail. Arends said they hope to have everything complete within five years.

MercyOne is the largest healthcare system in Iowa. The hospital will serve the residents of Freeborn County and the surrounding service area.

Megan Zemple

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