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$10M expansion project wraps up at South Dakota hospital

STURGIS (AP) — The more than $10 million expansion of a western South Dakota hospital is concluding its final days of construction in time to open next month.

The Sturgis Regional Hospital campus was expanded to include about 20,000 square feet (1,860 square meters) of additional space, the Rapid City Journal reported . The expansion project, which began in October 2016, puts more than 250 caregivers together under one roof in the main hospital. The clinic building is slated to be sold. The urgent care clinic added 36 new patient examination rooms.

Hospital President Mark Schulte said that added space in the hospital emergency room will help with handling peak patient loads, particularly during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that attracts hundreds of thousands of people annually.

Schulte said his staff is eager to move into the new space, which is scheduled for the third weekend in February.

"The feeling from a lot of the caregivers right now is that let's just get in there and get our stuff where we need it and start to figure out how to use it," he said. "I think once they see the benefits of being on the same campus and having everything under the same roof, it's really going to be a tremendous benefit to them."

The new complex also featured a 50-seat conference room, an electrical generator, additional parking and a refurbished historical monument on site.

An open house for the expanded hospital is planned for March 1.

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