Thursday, November 2, 2017

UMMC closing former Madison Courthouse

The University of Mississippi Wellness Center announced today that it will close the "Wellness Center" on Highway 51 in Madison but don't worry, it is seeking to relocate to another site in Madison.  UMMC sent this email to its "Wellness Center" members today:

November 2, 2017
University Wellness Center - Madison                                                                             
Dear Member,

Thank you for your support of the University Wellness Center Madison. Our Wellness Team appreciates and enjoys the opportunity to provide facilities and wellness services to assist in meeting your health and fitness needs.

UMMC made a decision not to renew the center’s lease at its current location and will be closing that location by the end of 2017. Daily operations will cease at close of business Nov. 30, however, UMMC is currently in negotiations to relocate nearby.

Negotiations are progressing and we feel very positive that an agreement will be in place soon. At this time, nothing has been finalized, so it is likely that any new location will not be open before the Madison facility closes. We look forward to having some exciting news to share on the new location and to continue to provide wellness and fitness services in the Madison County area.

To your health,
David Carpenter
Wellness Director
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Kingfish note: Great. That means UMMC will take the equipment and dump it into the Lakeland location.  The weight room resembles a gigantic jungle gym filled with monkey bars than it does a "wellness center" as UMMC channels its inner George Orwell. 


Anonymous said...

Have no idea whether it is UMMC or Courthouse, but, is this location just south of Madison Cellars Liquor Store and sort of back behind McDonalds in Madison?

Curls and Squats said...

The former and now vacant Walgreen's building at the corner of 51/Hoy would be a good location. The City, in its wisdom, and in conjunction with D.O.T. built Mary's Bridge so as to restrict traffic/access to the building, but the 'workout crew' could probably negotiate it.

Anonymous said...

Rarely do I desire to make what could seem a negative comment, but I simply have to assume that they are re-locating to better provide services to the affluent subdivisions of Madison county, and totally neglecting what there mission statement should be, and that is service to a morbidly obese, diabetic, low income population that needs some direction, assistance, and a little bit of hope to at least turn around the physical component of their life.......

Simply stated, UMMC is not a leader in healthcare in this state

Anonymous said...

Should UMMC be in the business of fitness centers? Is it OK for the state government to compete for business in the private sector? Where does this end? Let's have Miss State open up an engineering firm in Madison. Ole Miss law school open up a law firm in Madison. This is totally inappropriate for an institution of higher learning funded by tax dollars to compete for customers against other businesses.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

One wonders how this will affect the Makos swim team at the Flowood location. If they close that location, what happens to the swim team?

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible way to treat your members and run a business. They are basically saying - Sorry, we're closing and we may not have location for a little while. Please come back when we get our #@#! together and open up.

What are people supposed to do? Quit exercising while they get their contracts finalized? Do they really think people won't go elsewhere given the flood of alternatives across the Jackson metro. This isn't even taking into account the changes in fitness trends like cross fit or the hot new thing of the day like orange theory.

Anonymous said...

So they bought out the courthouse and now are there any locations remaining?

Anonymous said...

This is kinda like the "Metro YMCA" announcing they are closing most of the locations except for the Rankin facility. They said they are closing Jackson and Clinton due to the enormous debt service the Y has.....debt which was taken on to build the Rankin Y.

Two "non-profits" racing to capture the top end of the market. Screw everybody else.

Anonymous said...

For over 30 years I supported the courthouse. I finally bailed out and closed my membership this year. The only reason I stayed as long as i did was for the kids swim activities. When they closed Northeast courthouse the writing was on the wall.

Anonymous said...

Horrible decision. They were one of four anchors in a two block area. You had the Ultra-High-Carb Mexican restaurant right across the street, the Donut Barn to the north, and the 6000 calorie lunch Chinese place next door. How appropriate that there would be a gym in the mix. Today you can stand in that parking lot and shoot a slingshot in any direction and hit one of twelve places to sit and get fat. Now this! I'm calling the mayor!

Anonymous said...

the private ownership of the Courthouse probably got a huge payday from the state. UMMC, for a small moment in time got to appear as though they had the long term health of Mississippians in mind (great marketing ploy), but alas, we are probably left with a great example of why private sector business works better than public sector anything.......Except for the fact you need private sector ownership that is committed to the longevity of their business.

Anonymous said...

"Except for the fact you need private sector ownership that is committed to the longevity of their business."

I think the key to your puzzle is found in whose money is involved.

Anonymous said...

6:43, you are right in every way---the State is competing with the golf business, health clinics, hunting, hotel, RV Parks, retail, restaurants, beach facilities, fishing and most important they are competing with the very Doctors they trained.

Philbilly, you and Tater Tot need to get busy looking after the one that brought you to the dance.

TW said...

I worked at the Courthouse for many years & have been following its demise. The best place left is the Byram facility - The first facility UMMC closed.
Amy & Bill Jones have really made it the caring, community place that Byram deserves.

Kingfish said...

The employees at the Lakeland one now act like government employees, including the managers, and by management, I mean all the way up several layers at UMMC. Members complain to the front desk about how dirty and cluttered everything is, they are told sorry, not enough staff to do anything. Dried spills on the floor go for months without being cleaned up after being pointed out. Went and bought my own allen wrenches so I could tighten the dumbbells since the employees no longer maintain them.

So much for the days of when you would see someone like Mr. Holman get his hands dirty in a Jitney if work needed to be done. Accountability was held on Monday morning downtown.

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for the fact that they have a swimming pool, I'd bail out TODAY.

Amazing that they can't afford to fix some of the basic crap that needs to be done. The floor in one of the men's showers has collapsed, leaving exposed fiberglass shards that could cause real injury. Been that way for months. There's weeds growing out of the fascia on the front of the building.

If this was any place other than Jackson, it would have ZERO members.

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Courthouse, uh, "University Wellness Center," is now a tort factory with bad things just waiting to happen. As KF has noted more than once, the equipment is literally piled on top of each other. The dumbbells look as though they were arranged by a schizophrenic, although to be fair, a big part of that may be blamed on members who don't re-rack them in the right places. Same goes for the barbells and weight plates. The cables, if you can find a few that aren't broken, look as if they are just a rep away from snapping. The current employees act like they are brain dead the majority of the time. Just . . . a mess. What was once the premier fitness facility in the Jackson area has morphed into something akin to a dump. Very frustrating, because the visible problems to the members who give a damn are fixable.

Kingfish said...

Guess who straightens the dumbbells three or four times a week? Me. Haven't been in there since weekend so they will probably be in pretty bad shape tomorrow. Can't walk in a straight line across the place because it is so cluttered. It's been missing four barbells for several years now. Management was told repeatedly but instead there are four stations always missing a barbell. They made sure they removed many of the parking spaces but heaven forbid they should install some lights to make women feel more comfortable at night when they park and walk inside.

Yes, most of the problems are fixable and majority of them that are fixable could be done within a week given some effort and elbow grease.

Don't blame the employees. There are no bad soldiers, just bad leaders. Walter and Eddie are great, Miss Lou on the weekends is a gem, and the kids are well, kids who need to be led.

Anonymous said...

6:43 and 9:54, Yes, you are right. Why is the state supporting these places when they could be re-directing tax dollars to solve the shortage of high-tech companies in Mississippi that turn wood pellets into electricity?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kingfish, for sorting-out the dumbbells. And thanks for bringing your wrenches!!!!

One big problem, is the members who behave in a way that leads me to assume that they think abusing the weights and machines, somehow makes them "hardcore".

There's "Striped Pants Dude", who slams the hell out one of the 'Pec' machines - every single rep - and twice as bad, at the end of every set. As a result, the cables are fucked-up on that machine, most times I try to use it. You can hear him slamming that poor machine, from the other end of that hundred-foot-long room. And he's been doing it for YEARS - causing the machine to malfunction FOR YEARS. And there's a camera right there, documenting the whole thing. Yet somehow, nobody's had a come-to-Jesus talk with him about it.

A lot of the upper body machines are "walking" around the floor - because (presumably) some fools are slamming THOSE around, too.

Several times, I've seen kids from the cheerleading academy come in, returning weights. They re-rack them wrong, and frequently leave them right on the ends of the racks. It's a wonder no weights have fallen and broken the bones in somebody's foot.

NOBODY seems to be orienting new members on correct procedure for handling weights/equipment. NOBODY seems to care.

I straighten things out, between sets, as do a couple of other members. It's not that hard. I can set things to rights, in the area I use, in the time it takes to work out. It's not that hard. But the place seems to be "comfortable" for people who can't even clean up after themselves. Again, minimal orientation - and signage - and followup, would correct much of this. BUT NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE.

I've been asking for the shower floors to be re-grouted, FOR OVER A DECADE. There is no grout left, at this point. Guys pee in there, and the urine is getting between and under the tiles - and FERMENTING. The place smells like a really stinky cage at the Jackson Zoo. At this point, you have to drag the hose out of the wall, and hose-down your shower stall, just to be able to use it, without vomiting from the urine stench.

And the WATER COOLERS? I've counted three, which have been broken for at least eleven years. Their compressors don't cool, anymore. And so, the compressors run, 24-hours-a-day, every day of the year. Compressors which actually cool, cut off when the water is cooled. Most of the time, they're off - not consuming electricity. But what is the total energy usage, of three water coolers, running continuously for ELEVEN YEARS?

"It costs too much to run this place. It's old and falling apart." That's the gist of what I've been hearing. The reality, however, seems to be that the place costs so much to run, BECAUSE NO COMPETENT PERSON IS RUNNING IT. Re-grouting a shower room costs a couple hundred bucks. Unplugging a broken water fountain, COSTS NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

"It costs too much to run this place. It's old and falling apart."

That's why the owner dumped it on UMMC.

Anonymous said...

MAKOS has been fighting to hang on but the writing is on the wall and the families are asking what to do next. We keep getting a happy picture from the coaches and parents who are close with them, but many of us have friends and family with UMMC connections and we all know it's just a matter of months, and a few months at best. There doesn't appear to be another pool in the metro area that could house our big team. It will be a sad day when the pool closes and we are without a home. I wish plans could have been made years ago. This isn't a surprise.

Anonymous said...

You think the front is bad? Take a look at the rat infested rear of the Lakeland gym. I was at the pool the other day and two rats ran in from the swamp/dumpster area. This place is a health hazard.

Anonymous said...

Tupelo built their aquatic center for $12 million.

Until they take all the whistles and bells out of their plan the $34 million center slated for Ridgeland is dead in the water.

Kingfish said...

That is the maddening part about it. It's very fixable.... if someone gave a damn. It can be turned around and made to work.... if someone gave a damn.

Anonymous said...


Someone needs to investigate this $10,000,000.00 debacle---YES, that is what UMMC (TAX PAYERS) paid the owner of The Court Houses. Someone made out like a bandit on this transaction---"FOLLOW THE MONEY" Mr. Hood. I bet you will not be surprised who is involved---who brokered this deal and who brokers most all the UMMC/University Physicians deals ???? William Smith with Watkins Eager approves all business and real estate deals that UMMC is involved in---ASK WILLIAM ???? You may just find more than a dumpster rat.....

Anonymous said...

This is 2:56 again, I bet you can follow part of the money by looking at the Closing Statement between Mr. Black and UMMC. This information is public record since the State is involved. Any money paid under the table is another story !!!!! I know you can get to the bottom of this Kingfish.

GO GET THE CROOKED BASTARDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"If someone gave a damn". What the hell does that mean? Are you suggesting an act of charity or benevolence here? Nobody gives a damn about anything unless they make money off of it or it enhances their personal lot in life, somehow. Surely you know that. Your suggestion is akin to a group of well-meaning women in Canton getting together to pick up litter.

Anonymous said...

4:11, "If someone gave a damn" refers to the employees of the gym (including those employed in oversight capacities, both those at UMMC, and the two who've run the place into the ground over the two preceding decades).

If you "don't give a damn" about your job, then I feel very sorry for you, for those who are stuck with you, and for those in the little piece of the world that you're helping to DEGRADE.

By the way, there IS someone in Canton who has been giving a damn, for the last forty years. Pretty much anything good that's happened there, is because of her. And there are plenty of people at the Courthouse, who "give a damn", too. Kingfish, who's tightening the weights, before they fall apart and maim somebody: the member who's pressure-washing the stinkin' piss out from between the shower tiles: the members who get fed up with the grime and buff the tiles in the steam rooms (the only deep cleaning that happens): the members who clean the dust off the floor fans: the members who BOUGHT - donated - two of the floor fans: the members who go around the weightroom, picking up stuff that other members leave lying on the floor: members who offer training tips, kind words, and encouragement to new members in bad health, who're too poor to pay for personal trainers...

Maybe YOU should try "giving a damn". It's the difference between 'Civil Society' and 'Third World Hellhole'. Not everybody in this world is a leech and/or a predator.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a need for a quality gym in Jackson. I wish the Club would put a 24-hour facility in NE Jackson. Anytime Fitness at I-55 Kroger would be great if it had more floor space.

Anonymous said...

You can't have a "quality gym" in Jackson, for the same reason you can't have a movie theater there. Heck: you apparently can't even have a YMCA in that pesthole.

Madison, Ridgeland, Rankin County, and Clinton, all have nice gyms, within an easy drive, for the few quality people remaining in Jackson (and plenty of Jackson's 'Pillars of the Community' STILL make the short drive from Eastover to 'The Courthouse' on Lakeland (UMMC Whatever...), as they've been doing for decades.

River Hills and The Country Club of Jackson have their own fitness facilities, as do your bigger Baptist churches. And there's a private workout facility, for those who can afford it, in The Quarter. Local captains of industry go there.

My Trainer says that the big private home-gyms are "all" in or around Madison. But I'm sure there are a few in Eastover, too. That's a nice arrangement, because you can hire the trainer you want, instead of the trainers affiliated with your gym.

So really there's no great void in Jackson, that needs to be filled (in terms of gyms, at least).

Setting Priorities said...

Isn't this about the closure of a facility in the middle of Madison? Why are we talking about gyms and fitness centers scattered around the Metro? There are more tennis skirts, Range Rovers and Mercedes automobiles in Madison, per capita, than in any other city in the country. These girls don't need to be working out. They need to be home in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

8:21... The Club is now a non-profit since its merger with St. Dominic's. So is Baptist healthplex.
The tax burden/discrepancy was the main reason Courthouse and Fitness Lady got out of the business. This was discussed on this blog before I think.

Anonymous said...

Who showers at the gym?!

Anonymous said...

If you are not interested in lap swimming year round then yes you have more options available to you. The Club was not built with year round swimming in mind. Also being able to get a lane in the morning before or after work is a must. Yes Lakeland is in need of updating but lap swimming year round is great and lanes are usually available because there are so many. I hope they will keep it open not just for swim teems but for those members who love to swim.

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