The old Kmart building off Highway 61 in Winona that has sat vacant for years will soon be filled.
Monday morning Gundersen Health System announced they are taking over the boarded up building and turning it into a clinic with a full range of services.
“It’s a big investment on the part of Gundersen in our community,” said Winona Mayor Mark Peterson. “Developing this clinic, about 100 new jobs here in the city, good paying jobs.”
The new 86,000 square foot clinic will include primary care, urgent care, imaging and numerous other services.
For people in Winona in the past they would have to travel 35 to 40 minutes to either La Crosse or Onalaska to use services in the clinic.
“Whenever we can bring care into communities it’s really a huge part of our mission and so when we found that there were literally thousands of folks who were choosing to come to our La Crosse and Onalaska area we thought, you know what, why don’t we travel up there rather than them travel to us,” said Gundersen Health System CEO Scott Rathgaber.
But Gundersen is not a stranger to the area.
For more than 30 years they have been offering some services, through their Eye Clinic, Sports Medicine Center and Dental Specialties building.
“Those have been bursting at the seems and we’ve had the opportunity of having more folks who want to use those services and so especially vision and (physical therapy and occupational therapy), we are moving those to this location in order to have expanded square footage and service for them,” said Rathgaber.
Renovations on the building are already underway.
Gundersen expects to open the clinic in phases starting in late 2019 and opening fully in 2020.