Rhinelander City Council approves Aspirus' 21,000 sq. ft. expansion on city's north sideSubmitted: 08/14/2019
Rhinelander City Council approves Aspirus' 21,000 sq. ft. expansion on city's north side
Story By Lane Kimble

Photos By Aspirus

RHINELANDER - Aspirus looks at expanding its Rhinelander clinic as a way to "bridge the gap" between care offered in the U.P. and in Wausau.

This week, the provider got final approval to build over a road that divided the clinic from land where the expansion will go on Highway 17.

Monday night, the Rhinelander City Council unanimously approved Aspirus' plan to add on 21,000 square feet to the north of Cherokee Lane.  Asprius bought and tore down the old Rusty Nail bar and restaurant last year to make room.

The plans allow Aspirus to add 21 exam rooms, ultrasound and other imaging services, and give specialists a dedicated place to work all under one roof.

"Having everybody here, working together closely benefits patient care and continuity," Aspirus Clinics Regional Director Robb Fabich said. "We hope to get that out of this facility."

Planning for the $14 million expansion goes back more than two years.

The clinic opened in 2008, but more and more specialists and providers meant Aspirus needed more space.

"To finally be able to announced, hey you're going to see some construction people out there, everybody was pretty excited about that," Fabich said. "I get very positive comments in the community from people I see as well, so I think it's going to be well received all around."

Patients will still be able to get treatment as construction starts in October, but they'll likely get shuffled into different rooms during the work.

The first steps, now that Aspirus received city approval, will involve crews will moving power lines, water mains, and natural gas pipes.

Footings should go in this October, with construction ending in fall 2020. Patients will see new wayfinding signs to get to various appointments once construction is complete.

"We think it's good for our patients and good for our primary care and specialty providers to be able to service patients all across the Northwoods now and the Upper Peninsula," Fabich said.  

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