MARSHALL (KMHL) – It looks like 2021 will be another year of construction and renovation at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.

Tuesday afternoon Avera officials announced their plans to undertake a $6.5 million remodeling project to improve the patient experience in several areas of the Bruce Street campus and the nearby 1104 East College Drive location.

“This project will modernize clinic and patient space to accommodate the latest technology and complement the excellent care that’s provided each and every day by our vibrant, growing medical group,” said Mary Maertens, Regional President and CEO for Avera Marshall. “This will ultimately create a more welcoming, comfortable experience for our patients while increasing efficiency and saving health care dollars in the long term.”

As part of the project, Avera announced their plans not to return to the Carlson Street campus in the future. Maertens said they have always aspired to having a single medical campus in Marshall.

“I think we were still trying to settle into this new entity, new relationships and taking a hard look at duplication of services and service continuum, and adding services like we have added recently in dermatology and things like that,” said Maertens.

Maertens says Avera may still use the Carlson Street location in its response to COVID-19 – especially if there is a surge in cases in the Marshall area.

Maertens says they are working with the City of Marshall and the EDA to explore opportunities for a new use of that building in the future.

As part of the renovation project Avera is aiming to locate urgent care near the emergency department. Maertens says that will have many advantages.

“We’ll be able to move between those two departments readily, the teams will be working together very closely, and then when someone presents to urgent care that really needs to be in the emergency department then we’re able to transition them within that team and avoid another transfer even within our medical campus,” Maertens added.

Avera says plans are also calling to move physical and occupational therapy over to the 1104 East College Drive location, where it will be easier for patients to access the therapies they need.

And Maertens said the increased space will allow them to add more specialties to the medical center, including more cardiology care, diabetic education, visiting specialists and a Coumadin clinic.