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Baptist Healthplex Undergoes Improvements on Clinton Campus

A series of improvements to the Baptist Healthplex floor in recent weeks cost nearly $500,000. The gym floor of the facility at  Mississippi College reopened on September 18.
A series of improvements to the Baptist Healthplex floor in recent weeks cost nearly $500,000. The gym floor of the facility at Mississippi College reopened on September 18.

New basketball gym flooring is the most noticeable change for customers at the Baptist Healthplex.

The 21-year-old fitness facility at Mississippi College is undergoing major improvements with the work to be completed in October, staffers say.

MC students and other customers are pleased with the changes.

“It’s a first-class facility and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” says MC senior Jenny Lowrey. The basketball floor looks fantastic, says Jenny, a nursing major from Utica. “I like it a lot.”

The basketball gym re-opened to Baptist Healthplex members on September 18. A new Mississippi College seal appears at mid-court. Lines on the hoops court – from the foul lines to the floor’s outer boundaries were added as well.

MC freshman Ben Stanzel, 19, of Tupelo enjoyed shooting baskets at the Baptist Healthplex again Tuesday. “I like the new court,” he said. “I come every day. I love the workout space.”

One of the senior adults who regularly visits the Baptist Healthplex, Bob Mohr was equally impressed. Improvements to the basketball flooring, he said, “makes it shine. Everything looks good. It was needed.”

Nearly $500,000 was spent to install new flooring on the facility’s first, second and third floors, Baptist Healthplex officials say. Carpets in the upstairs and downstairs fitness areas are being removed and replaced.

The premier fitness center includes a walking and running track, aerobics studios, locker rooms, racquetball courts and plenty of workout machines. A swimming and therapy pool, dry sauna, game room with table tennis, volleyball courts, and snack bar serving smoothies are among other features. The three-story building comes with community meeting rooms, comfortable sofas, art pieces on the walls and places for friends to drink coffee.

Opened in 1997 at Mississippi College, the Baptist Healthplex upgrade is winding down in a few weeks.

“The flooring was the biggest job,” says Theodore Clyatt, the Baptist Healthplex executive director. Work to improve the basketball court, he said, was “way overdue.”

The basketball court remains popular with MC faculty, staff, students and the metro Jackson community. It gets heavy use during summer camp seasons at Mississippi College. At times, MC Choctaws basketball players use the facility for practices when the A.E. Wood Coliseum isn’t available.

Improvements to the fitness facility at MC are nothing new.

Beginning in 2016, the 72,000-square-foot Baptist Healthplex has added 100 pieces of fitness equipment, Clyatt said.  The facility has also undergone extensive repainting improvements over the years.

Satisfied customers like MC freshman Ian Cochran, 19, of Slidell, Louisiana, will keep coming to the Baptist Healthplex amid the blitz of renovations this summer and Fall. “There’s more cross fit training stuff,” he said, while shooting hoops.

The Baptist Healthplex is also home to medical offices as well as Mississippi College’s physician assistant program serving nearly 90 graduate students. The state’s first physician assistant program opened in 2011 on the Clinton campus.