$4.25M building going back on tax rolls, CEO says

South Central Place on 16th Avenue in Laurel is for sale and will return to the tax rolls, South Central Regional Medical Center CEO Doug Higginbotham told the Jones County Board of Supervisors at Monday morning’s meeting.

The 106,000 square-foot building and 8.55 acres sits on is for sale at a cost of $4.25 million, Higginbotham said. Supervisors approved the hospital board of trustees’ plan.

If the building is sold, the 137 employees who work at South Central Place now would be relocated to other buildings that SCRMC owns. 

“If we move forward, that will be between March and April of 2020,” Higginbotham said.

Some of the proceeds from the sale would be used to renovate those other buildings to accommodate the shift of employees, he added.

The cancer center is one of the buildings that will be empty after the $33 million expansion of the hospital is complete because it will be relocated to SCRMC, Higginbotham said. Work on the expansion is supposed to be complete in 2020.

Mapp Development of Birmingham, Ala., is handling the marketing of the building and property to various retail outlets, he said.

“There are multiple contingencies” for prospects, Higginbotham said.

South Central Place, which is located at 2260 Highway 15 North in what used to be Walmart, is where SCRMC’s business and marketing offices are, as well as its home-health and hospice care employees. It’s also where the South Central Health Care Foundation works and hosts various programs for the community. The I-59 Job Fair is being hosted there today (Tuesday).

Board of Supervisors President Jerome Wyatt complimented Higginbotham and the hospital board.

“The hospital has never been a burden on the taxpayers,” said Wyatt, who has been on the board since 1984. “It’s always been self-sufficient. I compliment the operation and credit you. You’ve brought us a long way.”

In many other communities across the state, hospitals have been “devastated,” but “it’s never been a burden here,” Wyatt said.

Higginbotham said, “We couldn’t do it without this board of trustees.”

Those trustees include Lewis Goins, George Walters, Michael Lowe, Arthur Siggers, Becky Brewer, Frank Therrell and Victor Jones.

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