Thibodaux Regional Medical Center is taking another large step forward in its push for wellness.
TRMC CEO Greg Stock announced the hospital is beginning the second phase of its Wellness Center, which opened up late last year. Phase 2 of the center will add outdoor facilities, including 12 tennis courts, four volleyball courts, a multi-purpose field with a running track, a spray park and other amenities.
Stock said phase two is currently in the design phase, which he estimated would take about 60 days. Another 60 days will encapsulate the bid process before contract negotiations and ultimately construction, which he expects to begin this summer. Stock said the entire addition should be completed and open for use within 12-18 months.
Stock said the $5 million project will be paid for with TRMC’s existing funds without having to take on any debt, as the hospital did for the $73 million cost on building the original inside portion of the wellness center.
“We have no debt. We’ve worked very hard over the years to get in that position. It’s enabled us to go and do these things without incurring any debt,” Stock said.
Stock said he envisions hosting football games, soccer matches, spring 7-on-7 football, tennis tournaments and other competitions once the outside facility is finished. He thinks the addition of the courts will help nearby Nicholls State University host collegiate tennis tournaments. Nicholls President Bruce Murphy said he expects the new facilities, along with the offerings the wellness center already has, to make Nicholls more enticing to prospective student-athletes considering coming to Thibodaux.
“We believe this will enhance the student-athlete experience and also, with the recreation side, will enhance the experience for our students in general,” Murphy said.
Stock said the initial membership projections for the wellness center, which opened in October, were set at an initial mark of 1,400 members. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Stock said the center already had 3,000 members. He said membership currently sits at 5,500, something projections slated until the center’s third year of operation. Stock said the figures show Bayou Region residents are open to the idea of wellness as preventative medicine and a boost to quality of life.
“It just tells me the community was more ready than people thought to partake,” Stock said. “Beyond that is the genuine excitement and engagement from all different folks that come here. People that are overweight, people that are confined to wheelchairs – just everybody – people that have worked out their whole lives.”