Officials Break Ground on New Health Center in Richardton - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Officials Break Ground on New Health Center in Richardton

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It might look a little cold and rainy for the start of June, but many people in Richardton North Dakota see nothing but a bright future for their town.

Alicia Ewen has the story.

Just because Richardton, North Dakota is a small town, doesn't mean the residents are not up to big things.

"To have that courage to say let's do this, let's bet on ourselves, let's move Richardton and western North Dakota forward, it really says a lot about you, says a lot about your community."

This is a ground breaking ceremony for a brand new Health Center.

Work started on the new center two years ago when the current hospital was declared "structurally inadequate."

"When we came here, we had a facility that was struggling to survive and now we are here to see a dream become a reality."

The new Richardton health center will replace Memorial Hospital, built back in 1950.

The clinic across the street was built in 1960.

The two facilities housed senior citizens for decades, but it's no longer able to keep up.

"We are talking about a state with the fastest growing wages anywhere in America, fastest growing population, fastest growing job base, anywhere in America, there are challenges of growth and prosperity, all across the state, we all recognize that, and there's need."

"All of these smaller communities, if you don't grow with the times in this economy, the planets were aligned for us to do this, there would be no better time to do it and it's either grow or die, and we felt we had to grow."

The new facility will cover 24,000 square feet and cost 6.2 million dollars to build.

It will include more rooms, single-story housing, and even a built in clinic, all to help meet the needs of not just Richardton seniors, but all in the area who need medical care.

"More people are able to access the quality of life their accustomed to in the community that they've lived in for so long and that is such an important enhancement for quality of life, that not everybody needs to move off to Dickinson or Bismarck or Valley City or Fargo their next home can be in their same community their loved ones and family are."

And keeping up with a growing population means they will be able to continue one of their town's proudest traditions.

"We are standing here today with a tremendous amount of gratitude for the many individuals who have dedicated countless hours to this project, and all with one goal in mind, which is to continue the mission of the Benedictine Sisters who brought Healthcare to Richardton over 60 years ago." says Magan Pritzl, Richardton Health Center Administrator.

"When you look at the residents in our nursing home we want their last home to be their best home, and we are so totally committed to that."

The residents will be able to move into the Health Center by next summer.

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