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Construction begins on former Shopko building in Mauston

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Members of Mile Buff’s executive staff and board of directors were excited to officially break ground for the Gateway Building in Mauston.

On Wednesday, January 3, Mile Bluff’s CEO Dara Bartels invited the community into the organization’s newest facility in Mauston, the former Shopko.  With construction set to begin, Bartels took advantage of the still-empty space, and provided the public with a sneak peek of the plans for the “Gateway Building.” 

She explained that it will house urgent care, retail pharmacy and dialysis services – each of which will relocate from its current Mauston location.  The transitions will provide more space, which will improve efficiency, privacy, safety and the overall experience for both patients and staff members.  The changes will also free up space on the main campus for future construction projects – initially for the emergency room, and eventually for the clinic. 

During her presentation, Bartels unveiled architectural drawings of what the building will look like when completed at the end of the year.  She also shared information about Mile Bluff’s strategies, introduced the fundraising efforts that will support Mile Bluff’s construction projects, and provided insight on what it means to be a not-for-profit healthcare organization. 

Over Mile Bluff’s long history, its leadership team has remained focused on meeting the community’s current healthcare needs, while preparing for future ones.  During this recent public event, nearly 80 individuals from the community had the chance to hear about Mile Bluff’s commitment first-hand.  Those in attendance shared their excitement for what this investment in the health of the community means to current, and future area residents. 

After the presentation, many expressed their appreciation for the thorough information that was provided.  Comments were made regarding how helpful it was to see just how much is involved in taking the former retail space and turning it into a safe environment for patients.  It was also noted how eye-opening it was to learn about what it means to be a not-for-profit organization, and to see the reimbursement struggles that healthcare facilities like Mile Bluff face. 

If you didn’t make it to the community forum, make plans to attend the Mauston/Lyndon Station Sharing Supper on Thursday, January 25 at 5 pm at Mauston High School.  Members of the Mile Bluff team will be present, giving you the opportunity to hear and see more about the Gateway Building project and the “For You. With You.” fundraising campaign. 

To stay up to date with the progress of construction, follow Mile Bluff on Facebook.  To learn more about the fundraising efforts for the project, visit