Glad You Asked: Is anything happening with Altru's construction?
Q: I keep wondering what the situation is with the new Altru hospital. Maybe I missed an article about why all construction has ceased. When I ask various employees about it, I get vague and varied answers. Is it possible the Herald could assign an investigative reporter to write an article about what is happening there? Is further work scheduled, or are we doomed to be the location of the world’s largest (rusting) jungle gym?
The Herald first reported in April that the Grand Forks hospital's construction project has been put on hold. As the coronavirus pandemic gripped the region, Altru Health System said it needed to prioritize its resources.
Since then, the $300 million project has been in flux. As the reader notes, the bare steel frame of the new facility is easily seen rising above nearby Columbia Road.
In the weeks after the initial announcement, Altru also made moves to stabilize its finances during the downturn brought on by the pandemic. On June 1, the Herald reported the hospital system was laying off 167 workers, or 6.5% of its workforce.
This week, the Herald reached out to Altru to check on the status of the construction project. Spokeswoman Annie Bonzer said there are no updates to share at this time.
"As it stands today we continue to focus on our operations, which have been improving over the last few months," Bonzer said.
Glad You Asked is a segment in the Grand Forks Herald. Do you have a locally interesting question you'd like answered? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll consider it. Be sure to put "Glad You Asked" in the subject line.