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Increase in patient demand means Allina's Cottage Grove clinic will expand

Allina Medical Clinic-Cottage Grove is adding nearly 11,000 square feet to its existing 26,500 square-foot West Point Douglas Road facility in response to steadily increasing patient numbers at the clinic. The expansion is expected to be complete by March or April. (Bulletin photo by Jon Avise)

A steady surge in the number of patients at Allina Medical Clinic - Cottage Grove has the nonprofit, Minneapolis-based health care provider expanding its West Point Douglas Road facility, a project that will nearly double the clinic's number of exam rooms and add roughly 11,000 square-feet.

Space has gotten tight at the 11-year-old clinic as the volume of patients has increased the past three or four years, said Allina's Colleen Kingsbury. The rise in patients has put the medical center "beyond capacity."

Ground broke on the expansion in late-October. It is expected to be complete by March or April, followed by a refurbishment of the existing space that will last until October 2009.

Allina had been planning the expansion for nine to 12 months before the construction got underway last month. The expansion will add 30 exam rooms to the clinic's existing 33, a treatment room and two procedure rooms.

A full refurbishment of the facility will be undertaken after construction is complete.

"We just were beyond capacity for having the space for all the providers and for all the patients," Kingsbury said.

Allina has had a presence in Cottage Grove for 14 years, first with a clinic on East Point Douglas Road before moving across Highway 61 to its current location on West Point Douglas Road in January 1997.

The clinic will remain completely operational during construction, Kingsbury said, and afterward will be a more convenient place for patients. One of the expansion's key features, she said, is that it will enable the clinic to consolidate its occupational health services into a single area.

Currently, services like audiology tests, alcohol and drug testing and other employment-related testing that Allina administers in Cottage Grove, are spread throughout the 26,500 square-foot facility. When the expansion is complete there will be a dedicated occupational health clinic, Kingsbury said, "so all those services will be in one place."

Allina will also be able to assist patients with workers comp injuries, Kingsbury said, as well as limited types of physical rehabilitation.

Jon Avise can be reached at