EDMOND — Colorful paintings hanging on freshly-painted walls can be seen through the windows that were once broken and covered with boards. Young trees have been replanted and are standing upright again.
Three poles at the entrance, once bent like paper straws, are standing straight with American and Oklahoma flags blowing in the wind.
Mercy Edmond I-35, a $90 million wellness center and medical center, will be 90 percent open on Monday, just over a year since a May 19, 2013, tornado struck the near-completed building south of 15th Street on the west side of Interstate 35.
A portion of the complex opened for business this week.
An outpatient surgical center will open in July.
The 219,000-square-foot building was just 30 days from opening when the tornado hit on a Sunday afternoon, causing $30 million in damage and delaying the opening almost a year.
A smiling Nick Niver, vice president of Mercy Edmond I-35 primary care, didn’t want to talk about the tornado while showing off the new complex on Thursday.
“We are past the tornado,” Niver said. “It has been a journey.”
Construction on the three-story building started July 5, 2011.
Not a hospital
The medical complex is not a hospital.
It is the first of its kind for Mercy, David Tew, Mercy Health System of Oklahoma chief operating officer, said repeatedly during the construction.
“There are no inpatient beds,” Niver said. “This is not a hospital. We are gearing up for the future to try to keep them healthy.”
The complex sits on 25.61 acres 900 feet south of 15th Street. More than five acres of undisturbed woodland can be seen through the large windows that surround the new complex, where 250 people will be working.
The design of the project took between 14 and 15 months because Mercy officials sought input from the community and people who will be working there.
Fountains similar to those outside the House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin sit outside the main and surgical entrances on each end of the building, Niver said.
House of Mercy, a shelter for abandoned and abused women and children from Dublin’s slums, was the start of a ministry that continues today in Sisters of Mercy religious communities around the world.
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Mercy Edmond Fitness center
and membership information
•Individual, family and corporate memberships are available. Annual individual memberships for people 18 or older are $768 plus a $150 one-time enrollment fee. Each additional family member is $420 a year. Enrollment fees are $100 for the first additional family member and $50 for each additional family member.
•Fitness center hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridasy and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
•For membership information, call (855) 445-5677.