Construction has begun on a doubling of the size of the Medical Services Building at Mary Lanning Healthcare.
Officials of MLH and Chief Construction of Grand Island were to ceremonially break ground Monday on the project, which will add 64,803 square feet to the 63,957-square-foot structure east of the hospital at 715 N. St. Joseph Ave.
The project is expected to take about 18 months and cost $22 million. Financing has been arranged through Five Points Bank.
Construction activity was under way Monday afternoon on the north side of the building, where a former parking area has been fenced off and pavement removed.
Once the project is complete, the building will be renamed the Mary Lanning Healthcare Medical Office Building.
Current occupants of the building include an ophthalmology clinic, the MLH Wound Center, Nebraska Heart Institute, Bryan Heart — Mary Lanning Cardiology, several MLH clinics, MLH Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the MLH Education Department and School of Radiologic Technology.
Mark Callahan, MLH chief operating officer, said work done prior to Monday’s groundbreaking will allow services and clinics already operating in the building to continue during construction.
One key user of space in the new addition will be the Bryan College of Health Sciences, which this year has begun a nursing program in partnership with Hastings College and Mary Lanning.
Bryan, which has its main campus in Lincoln, will occupy the third floor of the addition once it is complete. The Bryan students in the program will take courses both on the Hastings College campus and at Mary Lanning.
Bryan and Hastings College have worked together to raise money for the nursing program, which aims to build up the nursing workforce in central Nebraska.
Until a year ago, Omaha’s Creighton University maintained a satellite campus at Mary Lanning for nursing education. That campus now has been relocated to Grand Island.
Hastings College continues to partner with Creighton for its nursing program and with Bryan for the new Hastings program now in its first year of operation.
“We are happy to partner with Bryan and Hastings College to bring a much-needed nursing program back to Hastings,” Callahan said in a news release announcing plans for Monday’s groundbreaking.