ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- CentraCare Health will be asking for nearly $13 million in state bonding money during the next legislative session.

The money would be used for the design, construction, furnishing, and equipping of a medical school, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, in St. Cloud.

State Senator Aric Putnam says CentraCare's plan is to repurpose a 60,000-square-foot administrative building adjacent to their Health Plaza.

Because they have the space at CentraCare Plaza right now that they can fix up and make it useful as a medical school.  I don't know what goes in to making a medical school, but I'm assuming a lot of stuff and a lot of expensive stuff.  So, we need to put the resources into it to help our local communities as much as we can.

The Medical Education Center will house the medical school, simulation centers, team-based learning, and other educational initiatives.

The total estimated cost for the project is nearly $18 million.

On Monday night the St. Cloud City Council will be asked to approve a resolution of support for the bonding request.

Earlier this year, the Minnesota State Legislature already approved $10 million toward the project in the Higher Education Bill for operations, and another $5 million in the Bonding Bill for early planning and design work.

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The new medical school would have a rural health focus and help address the growing shortage of medical professionals in Minnesota's small towns and rural communities.

Minnesota hasn't started a new medical school in over 50 years, which is when the U of M opened its Duluth campus.



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