Fayette County


Piedmont Wellness Center at Pinewood Forest breaks ground

Pinewood Forest aims to be a community where people live happier, and the Piedmont Wellness Center will help residents live healthier. Pinewood Forest, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, and Pace Lynch Corporation are teaming up on the innovative, medically-integrated 60,000 square foot, two-story project which officially broke ground Friday.

“We’ve got an opportunity here to do something very special,” said President of Pinewood Forest Rob Parker, adding that the vision for the community’s potential has only gotten bigger. “We’ve taken on this idea of ‘What if there’s a better way to live? What if we could build a town where people live better?’”

It is a continuation of a series of exciting developments in the greater Pinewood community, said Chick-fil-A CEO and chief visionary at Pinewood Dan Cathy. Among projects at the movie studio, like never-been-done motion capture stages, the wellness center will be setting its own standard in the industry.

“This will be a real game changer,” said Cathy. “It’s going to be very different. It will represent the most forward thinking of the best thought leaders in our nation today.”

The project is the product of a fruitful partnership with Piedmont.

“We’ve been shoulder to shoulder, head to head, heart to heart on this endeavor for several years now, and we’re so delighted that we’re finally able to announce the start of construction for this facility,” said Cathy. “It’s been long in waiting, and it’s such an integral part of the entire Pinewood experience.”

The center, with a slated opening in late 2019, will feature a six-lane lap pool, therapy pool, multiple fitness studios, spin rooms, physical therapy, and 18,000 square feet of fitness space, among many other features in a program open to both Pinewood Forest residents and the community.

Football legend Herschel Walker shared a message of physical and mental fitness. (Photos by Christopher Fairchild)

“Our purpose at Piedmont is to make a positive difference in every life we touch, and what a great venue for us to expand outside the walls of our hospital and impact our community in a positive way,” said Piedmont Fayette CEO Michael Burnett.

There will be cutting-edge fitness opportunities like interactive gaming and dedicated training with a licensed D1 Sports Training program.

“It’s not going to be your traditional workout place,” said Burnett.

Among a host of special guests including Paralympian champion Al Mead and Mr. Olympia Lee Haney was football legend Herschel Walker, who shared a message of the importance of physical and mental fitness. Growing up in Wrightsville, he struggled with a speech impediment that left him self-conscious and unwilling to speak in class for several years. With the help of one of his football coaches, he discovered a love for fitness that brought him out of his shell.

“Fitness gives you shape and confidence, and when you have confidence, you can overcome anything,” he said. “No matter how many times you get knocked down, you can get back up.”

While very few can match the drive of Walker, who had already done 1,500 pushups that very morning, they can still live a fuller life with a little sweat equity.

“A fit mind and a fit body go together.”

Pinewood Forest’s Piedmont Fayette Wellness Center hopes to bring a whole lot of fit minds and bodies to make their community a healthy and happy one.

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.