Gundersen Health System preparing to open Legacy Building

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Most people aren't big fans of hospital stays, but one area health care provider is trying to make patient’s stays a little more comfortable.

Gundersen Health System in La Crosse is getting ready to open the doors of its Legacy Building.

After three years of construction, Gundersen Health System’s Legacy Building is finally finished.

Executive director of external affairs Michael Richards said patients will be happy to have private rooms.

“In the old building we had people sharing rooms, and we’re also going to have better spaces for families and it’s going to be more of a healing environment and bottom line, it’s built by the community for the community, and it’s a long term investment for generations to come,” said Richards.

Interior designer Theresa Besse said the building is environmentally friendly, which saves patients money.

She said 93% of construction materials were recycled.

“We’re responsible for taking care of people, and that’s more than just in the building or in your direct patient care, it’s what we contribute to our community. It we’re green, we’re setting a really great example,” said Besse.

Besse said a majority of the hospital’s furniture is from Wisconsin based companies.

There’s also a helistop, which is where a helicopter lands when it’s bringing a patient to the hospital.

MedLink Air program director Scott Sampey said having a rooftop heliport will help save lives.

“It will greatly improve the efficiency of the hospital bringing patients in that need emergent care, instead of landing somewhere else and getting in an ambulance and come to the hospital,” said Sampey.

Gundersen will move its patients to the new building January 19.

It hasn’t decided what will happen to the old hospital.

The public will have a chance to see the new hospital at a couple of open houses.

Those are this Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.