FREDERICK – Construction is expected to start in March on the 36,000-square-foot Indian Peaks Medical Center in Frederick.

The new medical center will be built on 70 acres near the northeast corner of Interstate 25 and Colorado Highway 52 at an estimated cost of $20 million to $30 million.

It will include cardiology and diagnostics departments, among others, said Karen Logan, a hospital spokeswoman. The building is scheduled to open in December, she said.

At some point, plans call for a new hospital and a separate, stand-alone emergency department, Logan said, though no timeline has been set for either.

The medical center project was announced in December 2010 as a joint venture between Longmont United Hospital and Poudre Valley Health System in Fort Collins through an entity called Carbon Valley Healthcare Holdings Corp. At the time, construction was set for spring 2011.

But the project was delayed because of the poor economy, Logan said. In the interim, Poudre Valley Health System partnered with University of Colorado Health, a health system headed by University of Colorado Hospital, based on the Anschutz Medical Center campus in Aurora. UCH remains in the joint venture on the land, but will not be involved with the current building project, said Dan Weaver, a UCH spokesman.

Longmont United Hospital will lease the land owned through the joint venture, Logan said. Longmont United Hospital purchased the site in August 2010 for $7.19 million with plans for future expansion, officials said at the time.

H+L Architecture’s Denver office is managing the medical office building project, said Ariel Madlambayan, a principal at H+L and the project manager. Fransen-Pittman Construction Co. Inc. in Denver is the general contractor, Madlambayan said.

“Health care is pretty competitive, as you know,” Madlambayan said. The new building “is primarily meant to service the town of Frederick and surrounding areas, so I think there’s a need for it.”

The Indian Peaks name, chosen through a contest, is meant to reflect the iconic mountain range visible on the western horizon from the site.

In October, Exempla Healthcare bought 48.9 acres at the northwest corner of Interstate 25 and Colorado 52 in Frederick for another future medical campus. The purchase price was not disclosed.

That land parcel is next to the Wyndham Hill Town Center, a planned regional shopping center. Exempla Healthcare is part of SCL Health System Inc., which has more than 1,100 workers at offices in Broomfield, Denver and Lakewood.