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“ERDMAN’s expertise in healthcare and focus on providing value to our organization was essential to our partnership on this new project. The capability to provide a full range of services, from capital and facility planning through design and construction has been valuable and has simplified the process, allowing us to focus on continuing to put our patients first.”

— Ronald P. Franzen, Vice President
St. Luke’s Health System


St. Luke’s set out to expand its surgical care center—and increase its market share. Doing that would involve creating state-of-the-art ORs to help make St. Luke’s a competitive alternative to the options in Minneapolis-St. Paul—two-and-a-half hours away. But the kind of transformation St. Luke’s wanted doesn’t happen easily. The health system would need a partner to help take on complex demands like these:

  1. Plan, design, and construct four general surgery ORs, two hybrid ORs, and one electrophysiology, interventional radiology, and catheterization lab
  2. Find ways to make the surgical process flow as efficiently as possible in the new expansion
  3. Connect the existing surgery floor with the new surgical suite—across the street—via a sterile surgical corridor sky bridge
  4. Create an exceptional outpatient experience that was also completely separate from the inpatient flow


The surgical care expansion was constructed within the fourth floor of St. Luke’s on-campus medical office building (built by ERDMAN in 2012). Key factors like the following helped the St. Luke’s-ERDMAN team reach project success:

  1. Successful coordination of complex OR designs and imaging technology thanks to great collaboration between St. Luke’s and ERDMAN
  2. On-site mock-ups for OR, pre-op, and corridor areas, allowing valuable feedback—and important buy-in—from staff
  3. Design strategies to improve flow and efficiency by wrapping the surgical suite around a central staging area, and wrapping private pre-op/post-op rooms around the surgical suite
  4. Smart pre-planning which helped the construction of the new sky bridge proceed without issue—despite a city street project going on directly below
  5. Dramatic improvements to the outpatient experience, made possible with a dedicated entrance and intuitive pathway to a spacious, calming waiting room

St. Luke’s can now provide the kind of leading-edge surgical capabilities that were once unavailable in the Duluth area. The newly expanded surgical center has not only transformed what St. Luke’s can do today—it creates a new realm of possibilities for the future.


  1. Location: Duluth, MN
  2. 36,000 SF surgical care center expansion
  3. 4 operating rooms, 2 hybrid operating rooms, procedure rooms, prep and recovery spaces, and support spaces.
  4. Skybridge connection to existing hospital
  5. Contract Amount: $9,557,821
  6. Completed: 2015


Hear from the physicians and patients about the end result experience of the $23 million St. Luke’s Surgical and Procedural Care Expansion project.