The upper Gulf Coast region’s only Level I trauma center has grown as USA Health officially cut the ribbon on the new Fanny Meisler Trauma Center at University Hospital last Friday.
“By more than doubling the size of the emergency department and trauma center, USA Health is increasing its ability to meet the health care needs of the people in our community,” said John V. Marymont, M.D., USA vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine. “This new facility is a reflection of the advanced, high-quality health care that our emergency and trauma healthcare providers deliver to our region.”
USA Health formally broke ground on the project almost exactly two years ago. At the time, officials announced the facility would be named the Fanny Meisler Trauma Center, in honor of the late wife of local philanthropist Bert Meisler, who donated $5 million for the project.
“It is an honor to have the Meisler name attached to a facility that is a symbol of hope and care for so many in our community and throughout the region,” Meisler said.
At the groundbreaking, Gov. Kay Ivey noted the importance of the trauma center to the economic development of the area and the state, reiterating that the state had provided a $4 million grant through an economic development bond issue.
“The impact of high-quality, highly specialized health care as it relates to economic growth in a community cannot be underestimated,” Ivey said. “The importance is based not only on having a healthy and educated population, but these are items that companies look for when deciding on places to locate their businesses. They also are important for the recruitment and retention of the employees who work in those businesses.”
“All of us at the University of South Alabama and USA Health are so appreciative of everyone who has contributed to making this building a reality,” Jimmy Shumock, chair of the USA Board of Trustees, said. “The substantial support from Mr. Meisler and Gov. Ivey created the foundation for moving forward.”
The Fanny Meisler Trauma Center is approximately 27,000 square feet, nearly triple the amount of space in the current University Hospital emergency department. The center has 38 examination rooms and three trauma bays. To increase efficiency, CT and X-ray imaging are located within the center.
“We now have a facility that matches the world-class care that is delivered by our health care providers,” Owen Bailey, CEO of USA Health said. “Additionally, because of the generosity of the USA Foundation and other individuals, we will have the most modern equipment available for the delivery of care, as well as conducting research and training our next generation of providers.”
Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction served as the general contractor on the $20 million project. Birmingham-headquartered HOAR Construction was the construction manager and Pensacola-based Caldwell Associates was the architectural firm for the project.
INNOVATION PORTAL OPENS
A ribbon-cutting event for the 30,000-square-foot Innovation Portal took place Tuesday, Dec. 8, with several dignitaries in attendance, marking the official opening of the startup incubation center in the heart of Mobile’s technology corridor.
“The Innovation Portal ribbon cutting was a monumental milestone for our team. So many people and organizations have supported this project along our journey to opening our physical space,” Board Chair Frank Lott said at the event.
“For the past several years, we have been supporting entrepreneurs in our area without a place to call home. Now that we can fly the Innovation Portal flag on 358 St. Louis Street, we can be even more effective in achieving our mission,” Lott said.
The site will house programming and events for small business startup founders in need of space, combined with a collaborative shared workspace ecosystem. Membership options start at $20 and range from day passes, to month-to-month open space coworking as well as dedicated offices with long-term lease options.
“This was unequivocally a very big deal for our city and region,” founding Innovation Portal Executive Director Hayley Van Antwerp said. “The impact of this new facility being open for business is tremendous — it will continue to be felt as our region’s entrepreneurs and startup community begin to fill this space.”
“This space is perfectly suited amongst the growth and excitement we’ve seen along the St. Louis Street corridor,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “They have renovated 30,000 square feet of former industrial space and turned it into a location that will help entrepreneurs, innovators and creatives in our city work and connect.”
More information about the space can be found at innovation-portal.com.
BUSINESS MOVES, TRANSACTIONS
The Archdiocese of Mobile has announced the retirement of the 182-year-old St. Mary’s Home, the oldest child welfare agency in the state of Alabama.
St. Mary’s Home was founded in 1838 to serve orphans and abandoned children due to an outbreak of yellow fever. At its height, the space served hundreds of youths at several facilities and offered educational and vocational training.
Most recently, the site was used as an assisted living facility. The 58,922-square-foot multi-purpose property hosts a collection of buildings sitting on some 5.74 acres of land with an additional undeveloped three acres available for build-out.
The space currently has an outdoor swimming pool, basketball courts. Interior facilities available include a commercial kitchen, a walk-in cooler/freezer, a commercial laundry room, a maintenance shop, residence halls and administrative offices.
The transition to closure has been completed and the property is now listed for sale. The asking price for the space is $16 per square foot. Pratt Thomas with the Merrill P. Thomas Co. Inc. is the point of contact on the historic listing.
A local investor has purchased the 3,535-square-foot former PNC bank branch, sitting on 0.48 acres of land found at 25405 Perdido Beach Blvd. in Orange Beach, for $900,000.
Expectations are to convert the building into a retail specialty shop sometime next year. The seller was represented by Cory Bronenkamp with Elcan & Associates and Franklin Street Real Estate. Vallas Realty Inc. worked for the buyer in the transaction.
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