GERMANTOWN, MD-Bethesda, MD’s Suburban Hospital Healthcare System has begun construction on its 60,000-sf Suburban Wellness Center, which is scheduled to open by the end of next year. Ground preparations for construction are still in the works, but a “Preview Center–where visitors can view plans of the facility and acquire more information about its services–will open in the summer. Hospital officials are not revealing the expected costs of the project.

Located off Interstate 270, the Wellness Center will house physician offices and a lab, as well as a health education center, an imaging center, a regional rehab, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The fitness center is being created in conjunction with Glastonbury, Connecticut’s Healthtrax and is designed to serve everyone from fitness buffs to individuals with chronic health conditions. Visitors will be able to take advantage of exercise studios, basketball and racquetball courts, as well as an aquatics complex. “The fitness center will be a community resource that will be particularly attractive to [area residents],” notes Suburban Hospital Director of Communications Ronna Borenstein.

Speaking about the impetus for building the wellness center Borenstein tells Globe the hospital “recognized that people come from all over Montgomery County [to the Bethesda location] to receive services. Now Suburban services will be located in their backyard.” In an announcement on the groundbreaking, hospital Senior Vice President for System Development David Smith adds, “Suburban Hospital is very excited to be able to reach out to the Germantown community with a broad range of wellness services.”

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