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Journey Construction’s Healthcare Expertise Showcased in New Rock Rapids Hospital

May 21, 2019 09:15AM ● By MED Magazine

 Among the most noticeable features of the new Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital, a 52,000 square foot critical access hospital in Rock Rapids, Iowa, is the artful use of healing elements like natural light, wood, and stone to create a welcoming flow.

“Natural light and natural elements are a big part of a healing environment,” says Hospital Administrator Craig Hohn. “With the light in the entry and the wood and stone, the feeling as you walk in is this natural wave that extends back into the waiting area. We heard a lot of comments about this during our open house, Our patients and visitors love it.”

What is less noticeable, but probably even more critical, is the extensive healthcare expertise that Sioux Falls-based Journey Construction brought to the $28.9 million project.

“This project was unique in that Merrill Pioneer was switching from one health system to another to run the hospital, communication and planning in the beginning was really critical,” explains Superintendent Kevin Brockmueller.

That meant that Journey was largely responsible for making sure that the new facility, which includes 11 patient rooms, emergency services, therapy space, a surgical suite, a GI procedure room, outpatient clinical services, radiology, laboratory, pharmacy and a kitchen/cafe, was precisely managed throughout the entire process from preconstruction to move in.

“The coordination of all of the equipment is one thing that makes healthcare construction so unique,” says Brockmueller. “Understanding what goes in each area and how to install it properly is really important. The fact that we knew how to do this and have done it many times, reduced a lot of stress and time.”

In the last eight years, more than 60 percent of Journey Construction’s revenue has come from healthcare projects.

“We are fortunate to have worked on many new, addition and remodel healthcare projects, the experience and relationships really pay off,” says Brockmueller, who has done three area hospital projects, back to back. “It’s a great feeling to hear so many positive remarks from the staff and locals. We are really proud of this project and what it will bring to the community of Rock Rapids.”

The hospital opened at midnight on May 1 and welcomed its first patient at 12:01 a.m.

To see more of Journey Construction’s area healthcare projects, visit and click on “Healthcare”.