The musical instruments have been replaced with medical instruments.
On the outside, the building at 250 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. still looks like the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
The inside, however, is completely different.
Gone are the photos of music greats and cases containing music memorabilia. Instead, the soothing, off-white walls are lined with doors that read “Nuclear Stress Lab” and “Ultrasound.”
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There’s still artwork in the building, but it has been provided by the Macon Arts Alliance.
Mercer Medicine’s brand-new medical office building is now a typical clinic, with physicians of many specialties, including cardiology, endocrinology and psychiatry.
The transition from museum to medical practice wasn’t easy, said Dr. Bill Bina, dean of Mercer’s medical school, in part because the building wasn’t designed to be a medical facility.
“In general, we had to work out a lot of kinks,” he said.
Though the medical school will have an official ribbon cutting and open house for the public at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the medical office building has been operating since July 1, completing a three-year journey since the music museum closed in 2011.
When the state shuttered the hall of fame after a committee was unable to settle on a home for its collection, Mercer stepped up to buy the empty, 43,000-square-foot building from the state for about $182,000.
Mercer officials said the university put in about $7 million in renovations to make the property suitable to see patients and teach Mercer’s medical students, who help with rounds with more than 40 physicians who practice there.
The move allows Mercer Medicine to consolidate much of its medical practices, which were previously located at 657 Hemlock St. and 707 Pine St. Though the Pine Street location is still used for areas of study such as infectious diseases, the medical office building is the university’s largest grouping of physicians in Macon.
Dr. Ajay Srivastava, chief of nephrology and an assistant professor at the medical school, said he used to operate in private practice before the medical office building opened.
“Here at Mercer, we strive to have the highest standard of clinical care,” he said. “(The transition) has been great. The building has been great for the patients. ... It’s more convenient. It’s a ‘one-stop shop’ for patients who have multiple medical problems. It saves them a lot of time.”
Srivastava said being part of the medical school gives physicians more advantages than those in private practice.
“In private practice, it’s difficult to achieve the same standards as in a university setting,” he said.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.