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ST. CLOUD — The City Council here on Monday approved a resolution supporting CentraCare's plan to ask the Legislature for about $13 million in bonding next session.

The bonding dollars, if allocated, would go toward an estimated $18 million project to repurpose a 60,000-square-foot administrative building near the CentraCare Plaza complex in western St. Cloud. The building would house the medical school, simulation center, team-based learning space and other medical educational opportunities.

Earlier this year, CentraCare announced it planned to partner with the University of Minnesota to open the state's first new medical campus in 50 years. The St. Cloud school would have a focus on rural health, which would help address the growing shortage of medical professionals in the state's small towns and rural communities.

This session, the U and CentraCare requested $72 million to help secure scholarships, residency programming and a rural health research program. This year's infrastructure package allocated $5 million to help design the new medical campus and this year's higher education bill included $10 million to kickstart the campus' accreditation process.

If the project moves forward as planned, the campus would begin offering rotations for Twin Cities campus students by early next year and open with its first class of students in 2025.