Avera investing $245M in system’s largest-ever building project – Sioux Falls Live

SIOUX FALLS — Avera Health is investing nearly a quarter-billion dollars into construction projects on two Sioux Falls campuses, the organization announced, making it the largest building investment in its deep-rooted history.

The Sioux Falls-based health system announced Wednesday, March 27, its plans to construct a sizable healthcare center on both the Avera McKennan Campus, near 20th Street and Cliff Avenue, and the Louise Health Campus in southwestern Sioux Falls.

The $245 million price tag for the total of 350,000 square feet in expansion marks the health system’s largest investment in construction projects since Avera’s nine sponsored hospitals joined in 2000.

Women's and Children's Building.jpg

Avera Health announced its intent to construct a six-story women’s and children’s health center on it’s McKennan Campus near 20th Street and Cliff Avenue in Sioux Falls.

Contributed / Avera Health

According to Cale Feller, Avera’s media relations director, the six-story tower addition will create a new main entrance for the system’s McKennan campus with a focused area for women’s and children’s hospital services. The addition will add 158 total beds.

Due to building additions throughout the years, Avera McKennan’s front entrance is currently nearly underneath another building addition and is not readily visible to visitors and patients,

“In line with our value of hospitality, our new tower will create a welcoming front door to our hospital,” said Avera McKennan CEO Ronald Place. “At the same time, we’re excited to create a focused area of clinical excellence for women’s and children’s services at Avera McKennan.”

The new tower will allow Avera to create a dedicated and centralized space for women’s and children’s acute care and expand areas for the unique hospital needs these two populations require: labor and delivery, postpartum care, newborn nursery, neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric hospital care and pediatric intensive care.


Ronald Place, CEO of Avera McKennan

“The depth and breadth of our specialty care in both women’s and children’s services must be supported by excellence in hospital care,” Place added. “We have the expert staff in place, but we need modern and expanded facilities to complement the compassionate and excellent care our teams provide.”

Plaza 3 on the Avera McKennan campus will be removed to make room for this project. It’s currently home to the Avera Transplant Institute.

Across town, a three-story building on the Louise Health Campus will focus on digestive health services.

Digestive Health Building.jpg

A rendering of a planned three-story digestive health building to be located on Avera’s Louise Health Campus in southwestern Sioux Falls.

Contributed / Avera Health

Gastroenterology services are currently in the Avera Specialty Hospital and attached medical building, but that space will be converted for Avera’s growing orthopedic services.

According to Place, Avera McKennan serves as a healthcare hub for 36 hospitals and hundreds more system clinics.

“The rapid growth of our Sioux Falls community is exciting, and it also means Avera McKennan must grow with it,” Place said. “We are looking to the future and preparing to care for the people of our growing region.”

Avera president Jim Dover said the expansions will help better serve the health system’s 300-plus facilities, which often refer patients to Sioux Falls location for more specialized care.

Construction is expected to begin in mid to late summer at both campuses, with the Louise project expected to complete in early 2026. The McKennan expansion is estimated to take until early 2027 to complete.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Sioux Falls Live, with a primary focus on crime in Sioux Falls and government in Lincoln County.

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