Time Capsule Highlights LGMC Anniversary
Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) accepted the first patient at its Oil Center location on April 15, 1965. Today, 50 years later, LGMC held a public ceremony to mark the occasion. This celebration acknowledged the hospital’s past and offered a glimpse of the future, as the hospital placed a time capsule on its grounds, and unveil new plans for more patient rooms.
Lafayette General Medical Center’s current location, at the corner of South College Road and Coolidge Street, first opened in 1965 as Lafayette General Hospital, at a cost of $5 million.
Groundbreaking for the original seven-story structure took place in 1963, relocating the hospital from its first location at the corner of St. John Street and Versailles Boulevard near downtown. The hospital, founded in 1911, was first known as Lafayette Sanitarium.
Through the years, the current hospital tower has undergone several changes. In the mid-1970’s, three floors and a penthouse were added on top of the hospital, making it the tallest building in Lafayette at the time. In the early 1980’s, the 10-story West Tower was added for $22 million. In 2011, the hospital completed a $70 million total renovation, gutting much of the original interior and completely remodeling the building’s exterior. On the heels of its most recent $52.5 million expansion, the addition of a new surgery platform and ER expansion, the hospital’s appearance is far different today than it was 50 years ago.
But, hospital leaders continue looking towards the future. During the ceremony, LGMC CEO Patrick W. Gandy, Jr., unveiled more plans for the hospital. LGMC will add 18 more beds to its existing 365 staffed beds, to include: six additional beds in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; six in Labor & Delivery; and six in the Mother/Baby suites. These added beds are in response to tremendous growth the hospital has seen, from delivering 1,843 babies in 2013 to 2,536 babies in 2014. Families choosing to give birth at LGMC has increased 37 percent in just two years.
Another renovation will involve the hospital Chapel. The Ladies’ Auxiliary, commonly known as “The Pink Ladies,” donated approximately $300,000 to fund this expansion. The chapel is located on the first floor of the hospital near the Gift Shop, down the same hall as the Cafeteria.
Following the unveiling of the expansion plans, a time capsule was dedicated and placed in the ground at La Place de Vie, the courtyard next to the main entrance of the hospital. The time capsule contains old photos, old medical tools, a brick from the original St. John Street location, and other memorabilia embodying the hospital’s illustrious past. The time capsule is slated to be opened in 50 years, on April 15, 2065.
To celebrate the 50-year anniversary, LGMC’s cafeteria is offering medium fountain drinks and bottled water for 50 cents each. The gift shop is holding a drawing for a large gift basket and a commemorative cake was also served after the press conference.