Moose Lake will be the site of a construction boom in the next few years. Major commercial construction projects will begin in June this year and continue into 2015.
Arrowhead Lane, the main artery through the city, is on the schedule for improvements in 2015.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the $38 million expansion and remodeling project at Mercy Hospital has been set for June this year, along with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the hospital. The expansion will result in a second story on the existing hospital, where patient rooms will be located. The main entrance will be relocated to the south side of the existing building.
Another operating room will be added, and the pre- and post-surgery areas will be expanded.
The ambulance and emergency room entrance will be relocated near the surgery center and close to diagnostic services. The former attached clinic has been purchased by the hospital, and it will be remodeled for the receiving area and the cafeteria.
Mercy Hospital sold the nursing home and assisted living facility to Augustana a few years ago, and plans are to begin construction on a 20-unit assisted living expansion in the fall. The project will provide a facility to meet the changing needs of long-term care.
The Moose Lake School District has sold 24 acres of land on its property along Highway 73 on the south end of town to the city, and the city is in the process of selling the land to a developer.
It has been reported that the developer, Land and Lease, plans to build a McDonald’s and a retail store on the land, to begin the development. The developer will construct the roads into the property and install all of the utilities.
The entrance road to the new development will be located directly across the road to the rear of the prison, and the new businesses will be located east of the entrance road.
The Moose Lake School Board has approved holding a bond referendum election on May 20 this year.
If the referendum is passed, design work on a new prek-12 school will begin this year, and construction would begin next year. The new school would be completed for the 2015-2016 school year.
The school would also be located on the school district’s property, off of County Road 10.
Meanwhile, the school is one of the two schools chosen in Carlton County for Safe Routes to School, a program sponsored by the Statewide Health Improvement Program, and a grant application was submitted on February 15 for a major infrastructure project to repair and build sidewalks near the existing school.
If the grant is awarded, the sidewalk project would be completed in 2014. It was said that the sidewalk project was needed, whether the school remains there or is moved to a new building elsewhere.
An expansion project is also planned for Marketplace Foods this year or next year.
The expansion would be added to the south side of the store, featuring an area with seating near the deli.
The Age to Age group is moving ahead with plans to build a pavilion in Earl Ellens Park by the river this year, despite the vulnerability to flooding. No decision has been made about moving the arena or keeping it in its current location.
Moose Lake has felt the effects of the downturn in the economy for the past five years. However, major construction projects had taken place on I-35 in the area the last two years, and another phase of an expansion has been built onto the Minnesota Sex Offender Program for food service and industries.
All of these major projects reinforce the concept that Moose Lake is a major hub in the region. People come from many surrounding communities for health care, for retail shopping and for services.
Those all provide jobs.
The city, with its many trails and area lakes, also attracts tourists. Activities planned by local organizations and the chamber of commerce bring thousands of visitors to the community.
These construction projects are major investments in a thriving community. Keep watching this newspaper for more information as the projects progress.