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$174M For New Avera Campus, Upgrades

Kealey Bultena
Dr. Dave Kapaska is President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Avera leaders say a new campus in Sioux Falls can better serve people with specialty health needs and promote economic growth. Wednesday Avera Health announced plans for building projects including new buildings and a surgical hospital.

Avera on Louise is the name of an additional campus planned for 82 acres at 69th Street and Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls.

Dr. Dave Kapaska is Avera McKennan Hospital’s President and CEO.

"This project has been years in the making," Kapaska says. "It’s a bold step to be part of a broad and unified development plan to meet the rapidly growing needs of Sioux Falls."

Kapaska says plans include medical areas and office space using 260,000 square feet.

Avera on Louise includes a 24-bed surgical hospital and procedure rooms for specialty visits and gastro-intestinal procedures.

Dr. Tad Jacobs is Chief Medical Officer for Avera Medical Group. He says orthopedics and gastroenterology are growing specialties. Jacobs points to aging baby boomers.

"A lot of those are in the area of orthopedics, whether it’s joint replacement – or if it’s in the area of GI concerns," Jacobs says. "Certainly screening starts at age 50, really, unless you have a high risk, for colon cancer, and so that need is ever-increasing."

"The economic impact of this project will be considerable." -Avera's Dave Kapaska

Jacobs says a core orthopedic surgical team can also address complicated sports injuries.

Leaders say Avera on Louise practices also include rheumatology, internal medicine and other therapies. With renovations planned at Avera’s main campus, the health organization’s building projects total $174 million.

Avera Health says the Sioux Falls building project is the largest in the city’s history.

"The economic impact of this project will be considerable, both in terms of the workers who participate in the construction as well as those who work on the materials which we’ll purchase to put this together. Over 600 workers – 600 workers – will participate directly in the construction over the next two years with an estimated payroll of near 28 million," Kapaska says.

Kapaska says the project has a broader economic impact valued at $118 million and 1,200 jobs.

Officials plan to break ground on the new facility this summer. The estimate completing Avera on Louise in 2020.

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB
Dr. Tad Jacobs talks about Avera on Louise to a crowd of employees, media, and business members.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).
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