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St. Joseph's Hospital: More land bought for new facility

The future St. Joseph's Hospital will include a medical office building and helipad, as shown in the above graphic.

St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center purchased roughly 32 acres for about $1 million from the Stark County Park Board earlier this week to use for the construction of a new hospital and medical complex.

Two years ago, St. Joseph's purchased 40 acres from Stark County, which it felt would be sufficient. Now it has bigger plans.

"So when we bought this land two years ago, we had a different concept in mind," said Mike Lefor, chair of St. Joseph's Hospital Board of Directors. "If we'd have kept the mindset that we had two years ago, it wouldn't fly."

Now the idea has expanded to a 100,000-square-foot hospital and a 60,000- to 90,000-square-foot medical office to house several clinics.

"In concept, it's about a three-story medical office building (MOB) possibly with enough space to hold between 40 and 60 providers," CEO Reed Reyman said.

He hopes the MOB will house the walk-in clinic, and Dakota Bone and Joint along with many others.

"All those things that we currently have that are spread out throughout the community ... all that will be in the medical office building in one location," Reyman said.

However, it's also possible existing clinics will remain in place and new clinics will be located in the MOB, he said.

"With how things are growing and the way that Dickinson is changing, we're not planning on pulling out of anywhere right now," Reyman said. "We just don't know and would hate to give up any space at this time."

In addition, hospital officials would like to work with other agencies to use the land next to proposed hospital, he said.

"When we talk about having an integrated health system, we want to work with organizations within the community that want to work together," Lefor said. "We want to work together so that the healthcare needs of this community are taken care of to the very best of our ability."

St. Joe's has allowed the county the option to buy back up to 15 acres at the same price they purchased it for.

"We want it to be health care-related as much as possible in that complex area," Reyman said.

Arnie Binek, chair of the Stark County Park Board, said he would like to have several county agencies relocate to the area next to the proposed hospital.

"Everybody on the board is really excited about being able to work this out with them," he said. "It will be functional for everybody."

Reyman hopes to break ground on the MOB in June 2014. He is unsure if the MOB and hospital will be constructed simultaneously, but it will take 12 to 14 months to complete the MOB and 18 to 25 months to complete the hospital, he said.

Reyman added all plans are preliminary and could change. The project has already gone from a $40 million facility to an estimated $85 million to $110 million hospital and MOB.

"We're growing cautiously," he said. "We've hurried in the past and made mistakes and we don't want to make those same mistakes again."

Binek said Park Board members have not yet decided how to use the profit from the land sale.