Blessings and breaking ground

There were many smiles and messages of good cheer high on North Hill on Tuesday morning as ground was officially broken for the St. Alexius Minot Medical Plaza.

A blessing ceremony and groundbreaking for the future location of the clinic was held at the intersection of Landmark Circle and 21st Avenue Northwest near the Hyatt House and U.S. Highway 83 Bypass.

“It’s a great day for St. Alexius in the Minot community,” said Kurt Waldbillig, St. Alexius vice president of Physician Services and Outreach, in his welcome address to the crowd. “We’ve been here for seven years and the support from the Minot community has been fantastic. This is a big deal for Minot.”

Gary Miller, St. Alexius president and CEO, said this is a bit of a homecoming for him since he started his career at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Minot about 35 years ago. He said he was excited to break ground for the new medical plaza.

“St. Alexius has been a great addition to the City of Minot and we are excited to have them here,” said Minot City Council member Dean Frantsvog. He said that every week he receives phone calls from people asking when St. Alexius is building in Minot and was thrilled to be able to give people a positive answer. “We are excited to be a partner with St. Alexius,” he said.

Alan Estvold, Minot Area Chamber of Commerce chairman-elect, added that he has been very impressed with the confidence and commitment that has been seen from the people of St. Alexius.

A blessing was given by Sister Nancy Miller, prioress of the Sisters of the Annunciation Monastery and St. Alexius Board president, after the speakers addressed the crowd. “What a warm welcome Minot has given us and continues to give,” she said.

The ground was officially broken with representatives from St. Alexius Medical Center, Sisters of the Annunciation Monastery, City of Minot and Minot Chamber of Commerce wielding shovels and tossing dirt in the air. Staff members from the St. Alexius Prime Care Clinic in Minot took the shovels for the second round of breaking ground.

The St. Alexius Minot Medical Plaza is set to open in the summer of 2015.