Altru remodelling space in former Scheel's store for patient services

Altru Health System is remodeling the former Scheels sporting goods store at the Med Park Mall, 13th Avenue and South Columbia Road, and plans to relocate some of its patient services there.

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Pamela Knudson
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Altru Health System is remodeling the former Scheels sporting goods store at the Med Park Mall, 13th Avenue and South Columbia Road, and plans to relocate some of its patient services there.

Altru has signed a long-term lease for the space, said Jenny Estad, director of orthopedics and neurosciences for Altru Health System.

"We expect to be there for the foreseeable future," Estad said. "We're working on demolition of the space. We're 95 percent complete with that."

Architectural planning by JLG Architects is in progress and should be completed this month. The target date for completion of the project is December, she said.

The 37,500-square-foot area will house multiple services, including Sports Advantage powered by EXOS, physical therapy, occupational therapy, outpatient speech therapy, hand therapy, pediatric therapy services and Yorhom Rehabilitation Technology.


It also will house some administrative offices for outpatient therapy services and regional therapy services, Estad said.

Right now, "therapy services are under one roof but in different levels at 1300 S. Columbia Road (the former Rehabilitation Hospital) and the Sports Advantage program is at the Altru Professional Center on South Washington," she said.

"We're looking forward to bringing all of these services under one roof," Estad said. "Providing patient care with collaborative teams is always a focus for us."

The new location also will offer "ease of access for our patients," she said.

"It allows direct access to the front door, which is always something we try to get for out patients," she said.

The new space provides "the overall footprint that gives us space for all of these service lines," Estad said.

"It's nice to keep it close to the hospital on Columbia Road and other clinic services," she said.

After renovations are completed in December, it shouldn't be too long before the services are up and running, Estad said. Some time will be necessary, though, for "transition and moving of equipment," she added.


"We're extremely to have this opportunity," she said, noting its benefit in the continuum of care for patients and "enhancing their health and wellness into the future."

Grand Forks Pita Pit to get new owner

Tyler Skavlem has purchased a Grand Forks Pita Pit at 3221 32nd Ave. S. from Patrick Streyle.

The official date of ownership transfer is Sept. 5, said Skavlem, who has worked as general manager at the restaurant for the past four years.

The national restaurant chain offers pita sandwiches, salads, breakfast pitas and chips, as well as lighter fare and vegetarian options. It also serves fruit juices, pop and bottled water.

Skavlem, a native of Northwood, N.D., began working at the Pita Pit eight years ago, starting "at the bottom," he said.

A graduate of Midway Public School, Skavlem has worked in several restaurants around town and an assistant produce manager for a local Hugo's grocery store.

In addition to Skavlem, Pita Pit employs two full-time and three part-time workers.


As owner of Pita Pit, he's looking forward to raising the visibility of the restaurant, which "has moved around a bit," he said.

"People have to keep finding us again," he said.

Streyle, the former owner, is working as a loan officer for United Community Bank in Leeds, N.D., Skavlem said.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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