Rice Home Medical broke ground on a 7,000 square food, $1.5 million medical supply store on the site of the old Motel 71 this week.
In 1989, Rice Home Medical began providing services to the people of the Redwood area in one hospital room at the Redwood Falls hospital. Over the years the medical supply company has been housed in various locations throughout Redwood Falls, from the east wing of the hospital to a spot in the NAPA building.
Most recently, the company moved to a storefront on Second Street (the old Fieldstone Vineyards building), but even that spot is temporary.
Rice Home Medical is going to be moving into a permanent facility sometime later this year, and that facility should serve its purposes better than anything it has had in the past.
Why is that? The reason is Rice Home Medical is erecting a facility from the ground up on the site where Motel 71 once stood.
Ground was officially broken at the site of the new building Tuesday morning, with a number of Rice Home Medical employees, project overseers and local dignitaries on hand to help get the project going.
“This is a very exciting day for us,” said Michael Schramm, Rice Home Medical CEO.
Schramm said over the years Rice Home Medical has developed a strong working relationship with the local hospital, ACMC and the community as a whole, and he said it is that relationship which led the company’s board to the decision to build a new facility in Redwood Falls.
“We are committed to this community,” said Schramm, adding the community is an important gateway for them. “We are proud and pleased to be doing this project here.”
Schramm said the groundbreaking event has been a long time in coming, as the company has been in several locations in the community over the years.
“The staff is anxious to get into the new storefront,” he said.
According to Carol Laumer, business dev-elopment director for Rice Home Medical, the facility is 7,000 square feet in size and has an estimated cost of $1.5 million.
The company currently has a staff of seven people, with the hope to add more as the company grows.
Work had already begun within hours of the groundbreaking, as the dirt work commenced. Laumer said the plan is to have the facility ready for operation later this fall.
“We are certainly glad you decided to build here,” said Julie Rath of the Redwood Area Development Corporation. “We are pleased to know those jobs will be here.”
Gary Revier, Red-wood Falls mayor, said the cooperative relationship between Rice Home Medical and the City of Redwood Falls is only going to strengthen as this project is completed and the long-term commitment to the community is established.
“This is going to be a beautiful facility,” said Revier. “We are really happy you decided to build here. On behalf of the city we think this is going to be a great addition helping to make us a bigger and better community.”