That was the case Sept. 21, when Pierz residents attended an open house at the new Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Clinic.
The project started more than a year ago, when the city and Essentia Health came to an agreement about the site of the former Old Bank Restaurant on the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue.
The clinic’s former site, which had been on Main Street North for about 30 years, was no longer large enough to accommodate the needs of patients.
The new clinic, which opened Sept. 11, boasts twice the space of the former building, at 4,200 square feet.
With the larger facility, Essentia Health plans to grow services to include podiatry, orthopedics and internal medicine.
The new building holds seven exam rooms, a procedure room, new X-ray equipment and space for physical therapy services, which will be added soon.
The stained glass windows that were once in the former Farmers and Merchants Bank building, which was purchased and made into the Old Bank Restaurant, have been built into the new clinic.
In addition, paintings by local artist Bev Gold complement the space, as well as photos showcasing the history in Pierz.
Residents were welcome to tour the new facility and enjoy a meal catered by the Brickyard Bar and Grill.
In welcoming the crowds, Essentia Health President Adam Reese said, ‘We are called to make a difference in people’s lives and we believe that having this beautiful building in the Pierz area to serve your families is a step in the right direction.”
Pierz Mayor Toby Egan told the crowd the city had learned that Essentia Health was potentially planning to leave town to find a more suitable spot for a larger facility.
“We took them on a tour around town to see what we had to offer,” said Egan.
He said Essentia Health saw the potential in the city and instead of locating in another area, decided to stay in Pierz.
With the cooperation of the city and the Economic Development Authority, Essentia Health was able to build at the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue.
“Along with that (their decision to stay) and with a beautiful new building, comes more opportunity for the residents here,” Egan said.
The mayor said he took his daughter to the clinic last week.
“The facility has really, really great people,” he said. “It’s a very warm atmosphere and they really make you feel at home there.”
To make an appointment, call (320) 468-2587.