The South Texas Medical Center is about to get a physical transformation that will create a more user-friendly area for those who use and work at the area’s medical complexes.
A master plan design approved in June is about to leap off the drawing board.
It’s called STMC Enliven, and it builds on the 1999 master plan for the medical center that improved streets between the hospitals.
Trent Rush with design firm TBG Partners said together with the Medical Center Alliance and the Medical Center Foundation, designers held a three-day charrette in February to brainstorm ideas with the medical partners about better meeting the needs of staff and the patients who come for care.
"A lot of people that go out there are in distress, they don't want to be there," Rush said. "So the public realm space is a place for them to relax, hang out in between appointments and they don't have to come in, go home, come in, or sit in a waiting room. Being outside is a very relaxing experience."
Rush said the long-term master plan includes both urban and green streets, 8 ft. sidewalks, a park for yoga or other activities, and trailheads to existing hiking trails that aren’t used because people can’t find the entrances.
"There's actually only a couple (of entrances). There's a parking lot way up north on Hamilton Wolfe and then there's another access I think off of Floyd Curl. There's a minor crossing on Wurzbach but nobody knows it's there because you have to go in and around a parking lot to get there," Rush said.
The first part of the project will begin in October, emanating from the city’s construction project at Hamilton-Wolfe and Babcock. Rush said the partners are still working on funding for the rest of the master plan which will include consistent, color-coded parking signage; identifying threshhold signage at each street going into the Medical Center; and a common place for gathering in what's referred to as the 'golden triangle' where restaurants and stores are situated.