Your Location: Set Your Location
See services nearest you.
Essentia Health Menu
Home > Vision Northland/Duluth Building Project > Videos > Construction
See the latest construction work happening on Essentia Health's Vision Northland project in Duluth, Minnesota.
Date: July 2022
Essentia Health CEO Dr. David Herman continues his exploration of the replacement hospital construction site. In this segment, he tours the operating room floor and learns about its new technology and special design features from our surgery staff.
View video transcript Listen to audio description (MP3)
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Vision Northland. Illustration of the Essentia Health Building. St. Mary's Medical Center. Dr. David Herman, CEO, Essentia Health. Dr. Herman wears a hardhat and safety vest in this not-yet-completed construction area.
(SPEECH)DR. DAVID HERMAN: Good afternoon, I'm Dr. Herman. I have the honor of being the chief executive officer of Essentia Health, and I am on the surgical floor here at the New Vision Northalnd Building with some of my colleagues from the surgical area.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Project Update Series. Prep, Operating, and Recovery Rooms. A worker pushes a cart around the cement floor.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: In this space, these patients are going to be admitted, be brought back to their OR area procedural suites, and then right back to the same floor. So it's going to really help create some efficiency for us, and our families are going to feel like they're more part of the process.
(DESCRIPTION)Michelle Switzer, Acute Surgery Nurse Manager, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)MICHELLE SWITZER: When the patient is admitted, they'll be brought back to this room. This is where their admission will happen. Family members will be able to come back with them. And this is where the anesthesiologist, the CRNA, and the surgeon will be able to come in and see the patient.
(SPEECH)DR. DAVID HERMAN: So now, here we are in an operating room. And I noticed that we have it set up here. So everything can be suspended from the ceiling. MICHELLE SWITZER: Absolutely. We're working on no cords. We want very little cords. No trip hazards, and with our integration system, that's what is going to happen. We're to be able to put all of our equipment on booms, and we're able to connect everything without a lot of cords on the floor. STACY LUND: So we're able to avoid some of the current constraints with our operating rooms or other facilities just based on space and where things have to be located.
(DESCRIPTION)Stacy Lund, Operations Senior Director, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)DR. DAVID HERMAN: And I know that in some of the surgeries I've done, sometimes it's been useful to have a consultation with a pathologist to say, what are you seeing on the margins? And here's what I'm looking at right now, where would you suggest I take a little bit more? WINTRA RENFROE: All you have to do is log in to our web interface and you can choose the OR that you have been requested for, and see a live stream intra-op.
(DESCRIPTION)Wintra Renfroe, Acute Surgery Surgical Technologist - Team Lead, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)This integration that we're doing is going to be an amazing teaching tool for residents, for surg-tech students, for nurses, so that we can view cases. We can see surgical setups. We can do all of that without having to enter the room, so we're being able to do surgery and minimize infection risk and provide a great service. DR. DAVID HERMAN: That's absolutely super. One of our values here at Essentia Health is teamwork, and this is just another process that occurs within this new building that allows us to truly live our value of teamwork. Now as a level one trauma center, I live downtown here, and I have helicopters coming over 24 by 7, 365, and what I always say is this is where they're-- they've had a bad day already. This is where their day gets better. So tell us how this is designed to really save those times, steps, critical moments that can be lifesaving for some of our patients.
(SPEECH)WINTRA RENFROE: When the patient comes down to be brought to the OR, our trauma rooms are directly there. So you're not running through the OR, trying to cut corners and get there, it'll be right there ready to go. DR. DAVID HERMAN: Having those emergencies away from that regular flow really makes a better experience for the people that need that immediate care and for the people that are having more routine care.
(DESCRIPTION)An illustration of the spacious, modernistic waiting area for patients and families as it will be configured when construction is completed.
(SPEECH)So we've just come downstairs from the surgical area, and here we are in the eating area-- the cafeteria.
(DESCRIPTION)Bare cement floors, lumber, and unwrapped light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. A worker in an orange safety vest drills into the cement floor.
(SPEECH)Won't that be convenient for our patients? MICHELLE SWITZER: So awesome. The steps are right here. This is the outpatient just above us. Family members, patients are able to come right down the steps, stay down, be close to their family member where they're having their procedure and have this beautiful view-- serene, calm.
(DESCRIPTION)A view of the ocean from this high floor, partially obscured by a crane carrying a bucket with two workers outside the window.
(SPEECH)DR. DAVID HERMAN: Those of us that live here in the upper Midwest live here for a reason-- because we like the outdoors. And bringing the outdoors in is truly a healing experience, not just for our patients, but for the families and community members that accompany our patients as they come in. I want to thank each one of you for walking around with me today to see this beautiful space. I spend a lot of time over here, but I get the same feeling of excitement all over again when I get to share it with the people that are going to be working there. And I want to thank you for all the work that you've done together to design this space, to work for you, to work for our surgeons and other care providers, but mostly for our patients and the people and their families who will accompany them. So thanks very much. WINTRA RENFROE: Thank you, Dr. Herman.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Vision Northland.
Date: June 2022
Essentia Health CEO Dr. David Herman explores the replacement hospital construction site and shares details about the building’s sustainable design features to be environmentally sensitive. These sustainable design elements support Essentia Health’s commitment to stewardship, one of our seven values.
(DESCRIPTION)A drawing of Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center building. It has a brick lower level and a curved glass main section. Text, Vision Northland. Dr. David Herman, C E O, Essentia Health. And Jonathan Niksich, Facilities Director, Essentia Health. They stand on a construction site and wear reflective vests and hard hats. As they speak, the video shows images of construction.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: Hello, everyone. I'm David Herman. And I have the honor of being the CEO of Essentia. And we're looking at the Vision Northland project today.
(SPEECH)And I'm here with Jonathan Niksich, one of our facilities people. And we're talking about the rock and steel on the building. So we moved a lot of rock when we dug this hole.
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: Yes, we certainly did. So 53,000 cubic yards were removed from the site and reused for local roadways.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: And we have a lot of steel. I understand from the people at McGoff that we have more steel in this than they have in Yankee Stadium. So Minnesota gets to beat the Yankees every now and then.
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: [CHUCKLING]
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: So where did all this steel come from?
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: The steel was recycled. And some of it can become traced back to the Iron Age.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: It has? OK. And how much steel , or rather, are we done putting up the steel?
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: Steel is not complete. We are still working on the garage that we can see behind us, that phase two structure.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: Before we built the building, there was a facility here otherwise. And I know it took a long time to tear that down.
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: Formerly on this site was our Blue Parking Ramp, which was demolished to make way for the new structure.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: What did we do with that material?
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: So when that structure was demolished, any of the materials that could be reused, 75% of those that were demolished were reused for other means.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: So we took the copper out and all the concrete and the Rebar and all that stuff. We have a value that pertains to that, don't we, Jonathan?
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: Correct. So that directly ties to our value of stewardship. Being able to reuse and recycle those materials just makes good use of our resources that are available to us.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: When we built this building, we knew it was an area where there's a lot of bird migration. And there's a lot of concerns about, how do you design a building to keep birds from hitting it. But I understand that when they designed this, they built this special glass to just prevent that occurrence.
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: That's correct. So the glass that we have on the building has what's called a frit pattern. There are 36 different types of frit within the glass. 32 of those are custom.
(SPEECH)And the way that the frit is manufactured is there is a ceramic frit within the panes of glass. That frigid glass has been manufactured in Minnesota by a company called Viracon. They're based out of Owatonna, Minnesota.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: Yeah. I noticed that when you go by the building now, there's some places that have plywood rather than a window in there. Why is that?
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: That's due to quality control concerns. So anything that doesn't meet the pattern, we want to make sure that that pattern is consistent throughout the facility. So the frit pattern also is a nod to our nautical environment here in Duluth. And it's made to look as a wave pattern.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: Along with the frit to prevent the bird strikes, we're also very cognizant of making sure that this is a dark sky area. We're trying to minimize the amount of ambient light that leaves this facility and gets out into the neighborhood or gets out into the sky. What are some of the things that are inside the building that people will never see but that really contribute to the efficiency of the building?
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: Yes, so the building was constructed to incorporate a 24% energy reduction as compared to standard design. And some of the things that have been incorporated into the mechanical system were a heat recovery chiller to recover heat from the building that would normally be expelled to the outdoors. We can recover that heat because there are areas of the facility that will need that heat year round.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: Well, John, I want to thank you so much for the tour that you've given me today and the things that you've shown me here today. And we really look forward to getting together with you again as the building's being completed. But I've learned a lot about the building. And I hope those of you that are viewing the video have learned a lot about the building as well. So thanks so much.
(SPEECH)JONATHAN NIKSICH: Thank you, Dr. Herman.
(DESCRIPTION)A drawing of Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center building. Text, Vision Northland.
Date: March 2022
A look at the C-Section and Midwife Suite in the Birthplace at Vision Northland in March of 2022. Vision Northland showcases the construction of our new C-Section Suites for our high-risk pregnancies as well as our alternative Midwifery Suites that provides care to low-risk or low intervention labor and delivery. Our goal is to meet the needs of our community by supporting mothers in different options for their birthing experiences.
(DESCRIPTION)An architectural rendering of the new Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center building. Text, Vision Northland. Dr. David Herman, CEO, Essentia Health. Dr. Herman wears a two-tone safety vest and a white hardhat with the Essentia Health logo.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: Hi. I'm Dr. David Herman, and I have the honor of being the CEO of Essentia Health, and I'm here with some of my OB-GYN colleagues as we're touring the new Vision Northland.
(DESCRIPTION)Four colleagues stand with Dr. Herman. A helicopter-level view of the Vision Northland complex, tucked among an agglomeration of buildings near a waterway. Text, Project Update Series. C-Section and Midwife Suite. The colleagues walk with Dr. Herman to look at a suite space under construction.
(SPEECH)So tell us where we are here today, and what's so special about this space that we're in. ANDREA LAYS: This is going to be one of our new c-section suites, and you can see it is huge. We're really excited to have two spaces for our baby cribs to be. We call them infant warmers. They'll always be in this OR, ready to use. DAVID HERMAN: So tell me, why would someone need to use this? ANDREA LAYS: Sometimes nature has its own decisions, and sometimes a c-section is required to deliver your baby, whether that be because baby is showing some signs of distress, or mom is very ill and needs her delivery to happen quickly. We're going to be ready to go with this beautiful c-section suite. DAVID HERMAN: So you're a midwife here. Tell me the difference. Why do we have midwives here at Essentia Health?
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Emily Davis, APRN, CNM. Midwife, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)EMILY DAVIS: Nurse midwifery is becoming increasingly popular across the country, and Essentia Health saw it as a need and a desire of our patient population, and women in the community desiring a different type of care. But we just bring a little different approach to obstetrical care nurse midwifery. We are experts in low-risk pregnancy, low-risk labor and delivery, low-intervention labor. So women who are seeking a medication-free labor, oftentimes, having that additional support while they're in labor can be really helpful, and we're there to provide that. MEGHAN SISLO: This is one of our alternative birthing center rooms, and as you can see, it's very large and expansive, very similar to the entire feel of our LDRP area and our c-section area. There's quite a few specialty features within these rooms.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Meghan Sislo, BSN. Nurse Manager, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: So how is this going to change your work for making your work easier?
(SPEECH)EMILY DAVIS: I think we are meeting a community need here. I feel incredibly fortunate, because there are a lot of women out there that are desiring a different experience. It's not better, it's not worse, it's just different. And this alternative birthing center gives them an opportunity to have that experience that's more home-like, low intervention, but within the walls of the hospital where they can access emergency care if need be.
(DESCRIPTION)The alternative birthing center presents a home-like setting with double bed, accent pillows, bookcase, and a spa bathtub. At the time, the space the colleagues are reviewing is empty, in the midst of structural development. Text, Annika Olson, RN. Acute Care Supervisor, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)ANNIKA OLSON: I think the nurses on our unit are super excited to have this alternative birth center as a new aspect of their job. And a lot of them are just so excited by all the features, and they're really interested in getting involved in different certifications to be a better low-intervention nurse and support the mother in that different birthing experience, and so they're just really excited to have this coming in the next year or so. DAVID HERMAN: Well, I want to thank all of my colleagues for joining me here today.
(DESCRIPTION)After their tour, the hard-hatted, safety-vested assemblage walks down the hallway together. Construction workers drill among unpackaged boxes and exposed wiring.
(SPEECH)It's really amazing when I walk through here. It changes almost each and every day now, now that it's closed in from the outside and they're doing a lot of work on the inside. So I get to see it fairly frequently, but I get to experience the newness of it all over again when I get to bring my colleagues and they get to see it again. So thanks so much for joining me today, and thanks so much for all you do to support our patients, our colleagues, in the communities that we're privileged to serve here at Essentia Health. ANNIKA OLSON: You're welcome. EMILY DAVIS: Thanks for having us. MEGHAN SISLO: Thank you for having us.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Vision Northland. An artist's illustration of Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center.
Date: February 2022
Essentia Health CEO Dr. David Herman tours the new Vision Northland facility with members of our Birthplace team to view progress and learn about the latest features and technologies coming to Duluth and the Northland in 2023.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Vision Northland. An illustration of a tall hospital building with rounded edges and a long, narrow profile. A sign on the top says Essentia Health, St. Mary's Medical Center. Text, Dr. DAVID HERMAN, C. E. O. ESSENTIA HEALTH. He speaks with two women. They all wear safety helmets and orange vests.
(SPEECH)DAVID HERMAN: Welcome. And we're here in the new Vision Northland, St Mary's Medical Center, in downtown Duluth. We started this out about two years ago, concept on a piece of paper, and you and your colleagues had a lot of opportunity to make comments on the design. How do you like it so far? MEGHAN SISLO:
(DESCRIPTION)Text, MEGHAN SISLO, B. S. N. , NURSE MANAGER, ESSENTIA HEALTH.
(SPEECH)My initial reaction, walking into the building today, is this is my first time in the building, is wow. It already feels so much bigger than I ever thought it was going to feel. Seeing it on a piece of paper, you don't actually get a good feel for the ultimate scope of what the space is going to feel like.
(DESCRIPTION)PROJECT UPDATE SERIES, BIRTHPLACE, WOMEN'S & CHILDREN'S SERVICES.
(SPEECH)And so walking in today was just like, this is huge. This is going to be amazing, and it makes me even more excited to continue to work on the project, see our vision come through to the end, and get excited to actually work in this space when our patients and families are able to come and occupy the space. DAVID HERMAN: So where are we right now? MEGHAN SISLO: Here in the birth place right now. We are currently in one of our more expansive labor and delivery suites. It's located on the corner end of the lake side of the building.
(DESCRIPTION)A view of the water outside the building.
(SPEECH)And as you can see, because it ends on a corner, we have this wonderful window that wraps all the way around. DAVID HERMAN: One thing I noticed when we were walking through here is that you know the color of the paint on the wall.
(DESCRIPTION)The walls have white, maroon, and blue tones.
(SPEECH)So did you guys get an opportunity then to pick out the colors? ANNIKA OLSON: Yes. MEGHAN SISLO: We did, yeah. We were very heavily involved in this process. I personally have been involved in working on the Vision Northland project for just about three years, just focusing my energy and resources on the birth place itself. DAVID HERMAN: You and your team take such great job of taking care of our patients. Now, how will this make it easier or more fun?
(DESCRIPTION)Text, ANNIKA OLSON, R. N. , ACUTE CARE SUPERVISOR, ESSENTIA HEALTH.
(SPEECH)ANNIKA OLSON: We're super excited to just have more efficient technology, a bigger workspace for all of us so that we have sometimes with multiple interdisciplinary teams involved in the delivery, so to just have that more space for all of us to be working. We're getting some new infant warmers, so that upgraded technology for the babies. DAVID HERMAN: So if there was one thing that you could say to the people that are watching this that expresses your excitement for what's going on here, what would it be? How would you put it into a sentence or a phrase? MEGHAN SISLO: I would say that overall, I'm excited to elevate our patient experience that we're having here and increase our service excellence that we're providing to our patients and their families. DAVID HERMAN: What are you going to say to your colleagues after you get back to the floor after you've been here for the first time? MEGHAN SISLO: We are going to talk nonstop the rest of the day about this space.
(DESCRIPTION)Construction workers build the interior of the hospital.
(SPEECH)From every little detail that we've seen, we're going to make sure that we communicate how exciting this is and what this actually looks and feels like to our colleagues. ANNIKA OLSON: To see the progress from October to even just January now-- it's a few short months-- is super exciting from a nursing perspective and just being able to work in this space and see the colors coming in. Because when I was in here previously, it wasn't this well done. And so it's just cool to see the progress in the last few months even, what's been done. DAVID HERMAN: When you think about the emotional experience that you want the mothers and the families to have, how do you frame it? MEGHAN SISLO: And so making sure that the ease of the process of every experience that they're going through as a patient is seamless and really at the tips of their fingers. And that goes down to a lot of the technology that we're incorporating, the equipment that we're incorporating. But our overall approach and vision for providing care for our patients in the workplace as it stands now and moving forward is really expanding on the holistic approach of care for our patients. DAVID HERMAN: You have great staff that do that every day. How will this space help them do it? ANNIKA OLSON: I think the nurses are really excited about the new equipment and the new technology that they'll have to bring that patient-centered care and that more holistic approach. DAVID HERMAN: Really want to thank you two and certainly all your colleagues for the great work you've done in helping to design this, and I want to thank you for joining me today on this tour because I've learned a lot about it and how you feel about it. But every time I come here and show this to someone, I get more excited about it. And I'm pretty excited about it all the time as it is, so I just want to thank you very much for coming along too. ANNIKA OLSON: Yeah. MEGHAN SISLO: Thank you. We are so thankful to have been given this opportunity, and we're really honored to be able to showcase the work that's been going on, the decisions that have been making, being made in the background, and the hard work and dedication that's been involved in this all together from everybody's input.
(DESCRIPTION)Renderings of birth suites that are spacious and calming. The hospital under construction. Text, Vision Northland.
Date: November 9, 2021Essentia Health marked the structural completion of construction and raised the final beam of Vision Northland during a topping out ceremony on November 9.
(DESCRIPTION)The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Vision Northland Topping Out Ceremony. Thank you for celebrating with us. A metal beam with an American flag and a pine tree on it is raised into the sky by a crane at a construction site. It rises many stories past glass windows on the building. It spins in the wind. Workers watch from each level it passes. It reaches the top of the building. It is moved to one side of the building and lowered to the workers there. The workers maneuver it into place in the only open spot left in rows of similar beams.
(DESCRIPTION)We back away from the roof into the sky. The hospital construction site in progress. The left side of the long oval building is over twice as tall as the right. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health.
Date: October 5, 2021As the Vision Northland project progresses rapidly, the operation is boasting a workforce in which 16.5% of the crew members are from groups traditionally underrepresented in construction—women, minorities, and veterans, for example.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: Welcome to Construction Minute, a periodic update on the Vision Northland project in Duluth, Minnesota. Here's your host, Louie St George.
(DESCRIPTION)The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)LOUIE ST. GEORGE: In this edition of Construction Minute, we hear from folks working on the Vision Northland project who come from groups traditionally underrepresented in construction such as women, minorities, and veterans.
(DESCRIPTION)Louie walks into a construction site.
(SPEECH)For them, opportunities in construction continue to expand, and they're proud to answer the call.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, "Vinny" Munoz, Laborer.
(SPEECH)VINNY MUNOZ: For me, this company hired me and this opportunity for me, getting a better life,LOUIE ST. GEORGE: Especially in a once-in-a-lifetime project like this that will replace St. Mary's Medical Center and transform Duluth's skyline.
(DESCRIPTION)Laura Hamel, Laborer.
(SPEECH)LAURA HAMEL: I love this lake and I've been appreciating all the amazing views from every level on this building. I'll be happy to come back to the building and go up to the ninth floor and have a good view up there with all the trees. So it's been really great. LOUIE ST. GEORGE: More than 500 workers are on site each day, and that number eventually could reach 600. The $900 million project is about 50% complete. When we started, the goal was to have a workforce with at least 8% coming from underrepresented groups. Two years in, we're more than doubling that goal, with nearly one in five workers classified as underrepresented.
(DESCRIPTION)Melissa Hann, Laborer.
(SPEECH)MELISSA HANN: I think it's great because it is a large number in comparison, especially in northern Minnesota. I'm really used to being the only woman on a job site. LOUIE ST. GEORGE: For Construction Minute, I'm Louie St. George. We'll see you next time. SPEAKER 1: This Construction Minute was brought to you by Essentia Health. To learn more, visit essentiahealth.org.
(DESCRIPTION)The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Construction Minute. ESSENTIA HEALTH dot ORG slash VISION hyphen NORTHLAND.
Date: Jul. 12, 2021 Learn about the skip hoists being used to bring construction materials to the upper floors in the Vision Northland Project.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Construction Minute. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: Welcome to Construction Minute, a periodic update on the Vision Northland project in Duluth, Minnesota. Here's your host, Louie St. George. LOUIE ST. GEORGE:
(DESCRIPTION)A man stands in front of a construction site.
(SPEECH)A lot of materials go into building this Vision Northland construction project. And you might be wondering, how do they get those materials in to the top floors? Well, on this edition of Construction Minute, we're going to take a look at a piece of equipment that is invaluable to this nearly $1 billion project. Resembling an elevator, these containers called skip hoists run up and down the side of these buildings all day long, transporting interior building materials like drywall, flooring, countertops, and doors.
(DESCRIPTION)Stacks of material on the floor of a building under construction.
(SPEECH)These skip hoists, which feature stunning views of Lake Superior and Duluth Hillside, are playing an instrumental role in a project that will build 942,000 square feet of new space on Essentia Health's downtown Duluth campus. Right now, there are nearly 450 construction workers on site every day. However, these skip hoists are not necessarily used to transport those workers. Instead, they're used for materials.
(SPEECH)As work continues on the 15-floor hospital tower, they will add two more skip hoists. The construction project is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2023, with the hospital opening for patient care in the third quarter of 2023. For Construction Minute, I'm Louie St George. We'll see you next time.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: This Construction Minute was brought to you by Essentia Health. To learn more, visit essentiahealth.org.
(DESCRIPTION)The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. essentia health dot org slash vision northland
Date: Feb. 17, 2021This construction minute explains what fritted glass is, what it is for, and why it is being used on the Vision Northland project.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: Welcome to Construction Minute, a periodic update on the Vision Northland project in Duluth, Minnesota. Here's your host, Louie St. George. LOUIE ST. GEORGE: On this edition of Construction Minute, we'll show you the fritted glass, which you can see just over my shoulder here. It will give Essentia Health's Vision Northland project a distinct look.
(SPEECH)More importantly, the glass will protect birds and bolster our green mission by minimizing solar heat gain and light pollution. Fritted glass will enclose our new 15-story hospital tower and 8-story clinic tower.
(DESCRIPTION)A work crew.
(SPEECH)This patterned glass will reduce bird collisions, as well as sky glow and light trespass.
(SPEECH)Birds often can't see transparent or reflective glass in large buildings. Duluth, of course, is a popular bird migration route. Frit, which is a ceramic layer with lines, dots, or another pattern, makes the glass visible to birds.
(SPEECH)Each glass panel is 56 and 1/2 inches wide and 17 feet tall. Crews began installing them in January. There are 31 different frit patterns designed to make the towers appear as if they're enveloped in Lake Superior fog. For Construction Minute, I'm Louie St. George. We'll see you next time. SPEAKER 1: This Construction Minute was brought to you by Essentia Health. To learn more, visit Essentiahealth.org.
Date: Feb. 4, 2021This Construction Minute takes us skyward and shows us what it's like working in the tower cranes on the Vision Northland project at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn.
(DESCRIPTION)Text. Construction minute.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: Welcome to "Construction Minute," a periodic update on the Vision Northland Project in Duluth, Minnesota. Here's your host Louie St. George. LOUIE ST. GEORGE: On this episode of "Construction Minute," we'll meet Tim Fransen, who operates one of the three tower cranes on the Vision Northland construction site. From his cab, Fransen moves materials around the site. Each crane reaches hundreds of feet in the air. In that regard, it's not a job for the faint of heart. Fransen still remembers his first shift as a crane operator. TIM FRANSEN: It was nerve wracking. I remember I was shaking coming down a little bit, wondering why I was doing it to begin with.
(DESCRIPTION)Tim Fransen. Tower Crane Operator. Essentia Health. Tim wears a white construction helmet and reflective vest.
(SPEECH)But after the first two or three times in there, it got pretty comfortable. LOUIE ST. GEORGE: Born and raised in Duluth, Fransen spends much of his workweek with a bird's eye view of his hometown. TIM FRANSEN: You can see most of Duluth on the lower side here anyway and over to Wisconsin and the bridge. And sunrises are pretty neat. LOUIE ST. GEORGE: Fransen has gotten accustomed to the trek up and down that massive ladder. TIM FRANSEN: Takes about 10 to 15 minutes to climb up there.
(DESCRIPTION)Crane ladder extends to top of building.
(SPEECH)On your way up, you check the nuts and bolts and make sure no damage or anything. And just take your time. LOUIE ST. GEORGE: For "Construction Minute," I'm Louie St. George. See you next time. SPEAKER 1: This "Construction Minute" was brought to you by Essentia Health. To learn more, visit EssentiaHealth. org.
(DESCRIPTION)The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Construction Minute. Essential health dot org slash vision north land.
Date: Jan. 12, 2021
(DESCRIPTION)An artist rendering of Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center, then aerial footage of the construction.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: What started as a dream is becoming reality in downtown Duluth and transforming the city skyline between 42nd Street and Superior Street. Along Fourth Avenue East, Essentia Health's striking new state-of-the-art medical facility is taking shape. The project, called Vision Northland, is building a new St. Mary's Medical Center and attached clinic. The facility will cost about $900 million and encompass 942,000 square feet as Essentia makes the largest private investment in the city's history. Construction
(DESCRIPTION)Time lapse construction sequence
(SPEECH)started in September 2019 and will be complete in 2023. A sleek, modern design will maximize breathtaking views of Lake Superior and the hillside of downtown Duluth. Patients at the new hospital will have private rooms, which aligns with our objective of enhancing the patient and staff experience. Practicing medicine is ever evolving.
(DESCRIPTION)A construction worker wears a hardhat and mask.
(SPEECH)Vision Northland will position Essentia to seamlessly keep pace with technological advances that allow for the highest quality of care. Essentia will be the focal point of a bustling medical hub that draws patients from across the region and helps recruit and retain top talent. Already construction crews have reached the top of the eight-story clinic tower on Superior Street. The 15-story hospital tower, set to become the tallest building in Duluth, continues to climb skyward.
(DESCRIPTION)Two workers on girders.
(SPEECH)It will be topped in December 2021. Trusses already have been placed for the span over East First Street that will connect the towers. Progress is easy to observe, with close to 200 workers on site each day.
(DESCRIPTION)Other works perform various tasks around the site.
(SPEECH)That number could reach as many as 600 at the peak. Crews are building the equivalent of 26,000 square feet per month. The project's general contractor is McGuff Construction. Together with a Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council, we're working to provide good-paying jobs in our community. More than 50% of the tradespeople working on Vision Northland are members of local unions. Nine subcontractors are headquartered in Duluth and four in Superior. This project has been and will continue to be a boon to our local economy. Throughout its duration, the project will provide more than 5,600 on-site construction jobs and 3,600 off-site construction-related jobs. Those workers have been busy, too. More than 5,500 tons of structural steel have been erected, and more than 22,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured. Also, 43,000 cubic yards of rock have been removed. When the new St. Mary's hospital opens, we'll be ready to serve our patients in the Northland for generations to come. We are building on the pioneering spirit and guiding vision of holistic healing of our founders, the Benedictine sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery. So while the physical space changes, our values and commitment to this place remain the same as they were when St. Mary's was founded in 1888.
(DESCRIPTION)A 3D model of the new complex. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health.
Date: Dec. 4, 2020Here’s a bird’s-eye view of Essentia Health’s Vision Northland construction site in downtown Duluth, MN, in December 2020.
(DESCRIPTION) A large building under construction is located in a city along a body of water. Cranes are placed at opposite corners of the building, and the first two levels have floor decking partially assembled. An adjacent building has eight stories assembled and wrapped with insulating fabric. It attaches to an existing multi-windowed building. Traffic moves on roads alongside the construction site.
Date: Nov. 5, 2020This episode of Construction Minute highlights the steel trusses which link the Clinic Tower and the Hospital tower together on the Vision Northland project in Duluth, Minnesota.
(DESCRIPTION) Text, Construction Minute. Logo, Essentia Health, consisting of three leaves in a circle.
(SPEECH) SPEAKER: Welcome to "Construction Minute," a periodic update on the Vision Northland Project in Duluth, Minnesota. Here's your host, Louis St. George.
(DESCRIPTION) A man in a coat and gloves stands in front of a construction site.
(SPEECH) LOUIS ST. GEORGE: On this episode of "Construction Minute," we'll take a look at the steel trusses that will link the hospital tower and the clinic tower that comprise Essentia Health's Vision Northland Project. These massive trusses, of which there are eight, essentially will form a bridge over East First Street, allowing for pedestrian and vehicle traffic below.
(DESCRIPTION) A truss connects two buildings.
(SPEECH) And just how massive are they? Some way as much as 85,000 pounds. It's another milestone for this project. Crews already have reached the top of patient care floor for the smaller clinic tower. They expect to do the same for the 15-story hospital tower in November of 2021.
(DESCRIPTION) A crane raises large pieces of steel.
(SPEECH) And this part of the project, the trusses, will connect the two, to create a stunning, state of the art medical facility. By the way, all the steel being used on Vision Northland is made in America. For "Construction Minute," I'm Louis St. George. See you next time. SPEAKER: This "Construction Minute" was brought to you by Essentia Health. To learn more, visit essentiahealth.org.
(DESCRIPTION) The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. essentia health dot org slash vision northland
Date Range: October 1 to 30, 2020Watch progress being made on the Vision Northland project during the month of October.
(DESCRIPTION) A time lapse of a construction site of a building being constructed. Large trucks and machinery move over the dirt ground and tall metal scaffolding crane towers rise into the sky. The skeletal metal beams of the building's structure rise from the concrete foundation. Light casts shadows over them as time passes and raindrops dot the camera's lens. Men in hard hats appear to scurry across the levels of the building structure, up and down scaffolding ladders. Plastic sheeting that covers the building's open floors blows in the wind. Snow briefly covers the ground. Workers begin filling in the spaces between the scaffolds with more beams from a pile laid on the ground, then cover the beams with sheets of siding.
Date Range: Dec. 4, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020Watch construction between First and Second streets from Dec. 4, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020.
(DESCRIPTION)A time lapse of a construction site. Large machines excavate piles of rock and soil from a space among buildings. As time passes, snow covers the ground and melts. Earth movers continue clearing two areas of land, flattening and smoothing. A tall crane tower is built of scaffolding. Two foundations are laid in concrete on the ground. On one, scaffolding is put up around them and concrete walls are constructed. Earth movers, trucks and cranes continue moving piles of rock and soil. Rain briefly wets the construction site. A second structure of concrete walls is raised. On the first structure, metal beams are positioned and more floors are added. The new building rises higher, blocking the view of the building behind it. Workers walk along the ground and up a scaffold staircase to reach the floors of the new structure.
Date Range: Nov. 25, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020Watch construction near Superior Street from Nov. 25, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020.
(DESCRIPTION)A time lapse of a construction site. Large machines excavate a strip of land between a road and a building, close to a large body of water. As time passes, snow covers the ground and melts away. Trucks haul loads of rock and soil. A foundation of concrete is laid and covered by plastic. Scaffolding and walls are constructed on the foundation, building upwards with tall cranes. Near the first foundation, more rock and soil are cleared and a second foundation is laid and walls are constructed. In the first structure, heavy metal beams create the structure of a large building, then on the second foundation. . Floors are constructed across the beams connecting the structures into one large building. Workers move along the levels of the building and cranes place heavy materials on the upper levels. The construction continues upwards with more beams and floors added to create 5 levels above the first. The open sides of the building are covered with a fabric.
This video shows a before and after perspective of the Vision Northland project site at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, July 2018, Vision Northland Project Site. From above, we see a complex of multi-story buildings tightly packed together in a urban area. From another angle, we see a pedestrian walkway towering over a street that connects to buildings on the waterfront. Several grassy areas with small trees are next to the medical complex.Text, September 2020, Vision Northland Project Site. From above, we see that several buildings have been demolished in the construction site. There are several tall construction cranes in use. New buildings are in the process of being built from the ground up in a block-wide area. A multi-level tower is in progress next to the waterfront area.From above, we slowly move from left to right over the construction area and move towards the lake. The shell of a new building is in progress with the construction cranes being used inside the perimeter.We move past the new tower with eight levels in progress and one construction crane behind it. A small street runs along the complex and separates it from the waterfront area.We continue to float by the downtown medical campus under construction as we move out and over the lake. We can see a tower with eight floors under construction with the new buildings behind it. The complex is surrounded by existing buildings on all sides in the lakefront urban area.We continue to float by the construction area and we can see the new project site from all sides.
Date: July 2020Watch progress being made on the Vision Northland Project during the month of July 2020.
(DESCRIPTION)A time-lapse film of a large building under construction. The sky changes from clear to cloudy, to clear again, to rainy, as the frame of the building grows taller. Workers move across the scaffolding and frame work, as the building's frame grows taller, beginning at two stories and increasing to three stories. The sun shines brightly, then rain spatters the camera lens as the building progress continues to include a fourth story. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle.
Date: June 2020This time-lapse shows the construction of Essentia Health's Vision Northland Project in June, 2020.
(DESCRIPTION)The metal skeleton of a building under construction. Time lapse video shows the installation of floors over steel girders, creating the levels of the three-story building. Machines move dirt around the ground floor of the building. It rains on one day.
Essentia Health (Duluth, MN 6/08/2020)This video shows the process of installing an 80,000 pound truss during the Vision Northland project.
(DESCRIPTION)At a construction site, tall cranes next to the frames of the building.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER 1: Essentia Health's Vision Northland reached another milestone on June 8th as crews began installing steel trusses to span an alley below the Duluth clinic's First Street building. [CONSTRUCTION NOISES]
(DESCRIPTION)Trusses lie horizontally on the bed of a truck. Workers position cables onto the truss on top.
(SPEECH)A large crane was used to hoist each 80,000-pound truss into place. [CONSTRUCTION NOISES]
(DESCRIPTION)The truck drives away as the crane lift the truss. A sign on the rear of the truck reads, Oversize Load. A workers puts a folder onto the edge of a machine. Other workers carefully rotate the truss. The crane slowly lifts it.
(SPEECH)Essentia Health's new medical facility is being built over the alley and over east First Street with trusses that are similar to those used for bridge's. [CONSTRUCTION NOISES]
(DESCRIPTION)A worker on the ground holds a cable to stabilize the truss. He walks forward as the truss rises. The truss now reaches the height of an existing truss. Workers in a crane basket watch, then guide the truss to its final position.
(SPEECH)When construction is complete, the new home for St. Mary's Medical Center will stretch two blocks along Fourth Avenue East from Superior Street to East Second Street.
Date Range: May 1, to May 31, 2020Watch work near Superior Street from May 1-May 31.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Essentia Health, Vision Northland, View 5, Duluth, MN. Large construction equipment assists workers in building the steel frame for a building on the lower and center right. Lake Superior reflects bright sunlight in the top right. A crane extends up from the center to the top middle of the frame, and another building already framed is under construction on the left portion of the view. The workers add another layer of upright steel beams on top of the first layer. They begin framing in the horizontal beams that form the next level. They also place the diagonal support beams. The floor goes in on the first level, covering the steel beams. Cranes assist workers with framing out the rest of the next story's floor. Once that floor is in place, the workers frame another layer above it, and then a partial layer above that one. Another crane, in red, comes to the foreground as they begin framing out another section of the building on the left.
Essentia Health (Duluth, MN 5/13/2020)
(DESCRIPTION)Five fighter jets in a V formation fly over the construction site with its steel girders and three cranes. A man stands on the ground underneath at the site next to a truck moving slowly forward.
Date Range: Apr. 1, to Apr. 20, 2020Watch work near Superior Street from April 1-20, and the arrival of structural steel beams.
(DESCRIPTION)Title, Essentia Health - Vision Northland - View 5 (Duluth, MN)Time lapse sequence of a construction site with foundations and concrete walls. Trucks and heavy equipment vehicles move on and off the property. A lake behind the site. The sky changes throughout the sequence. It ranges from bright sun to gray rain clouds. Shadows reflect the passage of time and the changes in the weather. The construction continues with ongoing vehicle and equipment movement.
Date Range: Feb. 3, to Apr. 1, 2020Watch site preparation and the building of footings and walls at the corner of Fourth Avenue East and First Street from Feb. 3 to April 1, 2020.
(DESCRIPTION)Overhead view of a construction site with tall cranes and trucks filled with dirt. Text, Essentia health, vision northland, view 3, Duluth Minnesota. Fast motion of the construction process, large machines moving earth and piling rocks. Occasionally, snow appears covering the site. They gradually build up parts of the plot and shape others, then begin laying concrete and metal grid foundations. Men in hard hats criss cross the site and large machines pump in concrete from a tube suspended overhead. Vertical walls are constructed from the foundation.
Date Range: Feb. 1, to Feb. 28, 2020Watch progress on the building’s foundations and walls from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28.
(DESCRIPTION)Time lapse of construction site. There is snow on the ground and construction machinery at the work site. Various construction work goes on throughout the time lapse. Dump trucks pull in empty and leave with full loads. Construction of a wall progresses.
Essentia Health (Duluth, MN 1/31/2020)Watch snippets of the three-day process to erect a massive construction tower crane for Vision Northland. The crane was erected at the end of January 2020.
(DESCRIPTION)Chain link fence, behind it a truck moves to reveal a construction site. Snow covers parts of the ground and tarp-covered machinery. Two workers in construction vests walk by. A yellow crane in front of a building labeled Essentia Health. A construction worker helps guide a large metal plate onto a truck bed. The entire construction site shows two cranes and ongoing construction of an existing building and the foundation for a new structure, all next to a large body of water. Workers use a crane to build a tall freestanding metal frame in front of the Essentia Health building. Diggers excavate earth around the foundation of a new structure. Workers continue using the crane to build the tall metal frame. An aerial view shows the metal frame is several stories taller than the Essentia Health building. An arm extension is added to complete the crane tower structure.
Date Range: Jan. 1, to Jan. 31, 2020Watch work near the intersection of Superior Street and Fourth Avenue East, including the building’s first foundations.
(DESCRIPTION)Time lapse video of a construction site that shows work being done by various construction machines and cars passing by on the road next to the site. Ground is bare dirt and then shows some snow on the ground. More trucks and equipment moving in and out of construction site. Snow falls and covers the site and then is showed cleared out and construction work continuing. White trucks arrive on site.
Date Range: Dec. 5, 2019 to Jan. 2, 2020Watch crews demolish the parking ramp.
(DESCRIPTION)Time lapse of demolition equipment reducing a wall to rubble, then spreading the rubble out around the base of a the parking garage it had surrounded. Ice covers the camera lens as snow covers the landscape. Excavators add more rubble to the pile next to the garage and spread it out. The excavators begin tearing down the garage's levels, starting from the corner. One of the excavators creates a ramp up to a higher level of the garage in order to take down a higher section, while the other continues demolishing the lower sections on the other wall. A third excavator joins in the demolition of the parking garage, with the three now working on different tiers at the same time. A fourth excavator is visible in the background, apparently working on the structure from the other side. Several days pass as the excavators remain parked. Occasionally people walk by. Rain briefly covers the camera lens. The excavators remain parked. Then, three of them resume work tearing down the garage. Snow and rain again cover the landscape and the camera while demolition pauses. Trucks come in and drop off shipping container-shaped offices along the road next to the demolition site while the excavators continue demolishing the garage.
Date Range: Nov. 25 - Dec. 12, 2019Watch as construction progresses on the Vision Northland project.
(DESCRIPTION)Logo, OxBlue. Time-lapse photos of a construction site in winter, taken from multiple angles. To the left, a fence guides traffic to a covered drive beneath a glass-walled section of the building on the upper part of a hillside. To the right of the glass-walled section is an unfinished area of the upper two stories, which has a mesh overlaying an unlit area, followed by a wall of gray concrete. The lower two stories show 3M insulation. Construction equipment tracks brown through snow, and ice and fog obscure the lens. In the foreground, backhoes dig away earth from the lowest part of a hill next to the building. The building has two stories from the roof to the base of the covered drive, and a third story from the base of the drive to the base of the hill. To the right of the building stands a line of posts separating the site from a mound of gray rubble and a nearby road. Backhoes level the earth between the line of posts and the fence near the drive, matching the level of the lowest story.
Essentia Health (Duluth, MN 12/03/2019) Watch a video of a rock excavation blast at our construction site.
(DESCRIPTION)A person in a reflective construction vest and hard hat squeezes an air horn. A dirt pile jumps, as if detonated from below. A multistory brick building with a white S on the side connects to a gray parking garage in the background. In front is a snow-covered area with construction materials and vehicles and the large dark brown dirt pile.
Do you live or work in Duluth’s Central Hillside neighborhood? Share what you would like to see in your community.