Project Category - Remodel/Renovation (completed September 1999)

Facility Contact - Owen Bailey, Administrator, (251) 990-1505

Firm - Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects, (251) 928-6041

Design Team - Carswell M. Walcott, President; Laurie Sikorowski, Project Architect

Patient/Bed Capacity - N/A

Total Building Area (sq. ft.) - Approximately 84,000

Total Land Area (acres) - Approximately 12

Total Cost (excluding land) - Approximately $4,200,000


Thomas Hospital is a 150-bed, not-for-profit community hospital that serves the rapidly growing Eastern Shore region of Mobile Bay. In 1997, the hospital's Long Range Plan called for an Ambulatory Care Facility to serve the community of Daphne, which is 8 miles north of Fairhope, where Thomas Hospital is located. The program for the Daphne facility described a “Bedless Hospital” concept, in which virtually all of the services of a traditional hospital are provided, without overnight stays.

In 1996, Wal-Mart moved from their location in Daphne, Alabama, into a new, larger “Super” Wal-Mart, a half-mile away. The vacant Wal-Mart was leased by Thomas Hospital in 1998 to develop into their “Bedless Hospital” concept for the city of Daphne.

The program called for the renovation of the 84,000-sq.-ft. facility into two distinct service areas to be separated by a central Medical Mall. The medical office side provides approximately 35,000 sq. ft. of space for the bedless hospital services, including Urgent Care, Ambulatory Surgery, Endoscopy, Pain Management, Open MRI, CT Scanning, Mammography, Ultrasound, X-Ray, EKG, Stress Testing, Lab and Community Education.

Other program elements include a significant façade renovation that continues the Thomas Hospital campus image and provides covered access from the large parking lot. The goal was also to achieve a distinct image change, so that there would be no confusion with the Wal-Mart use. The parking area was reconfigured with substantial landscaping and future canopy trees.

This unique project provided several distinctive advantages over traditional land purchase/new construction. The lease/renovate method provided great reduction in project schedule, cost and capital requirements. The recycling of a “Big Box” store, such as Wal-Mart, also provides a creative environmental response to the sprawl of our high-growth areas.

The facility opened in September 1999 and has exceeded all pro forma projections.