How do you bring new life to a mall?

Wellogy partnered with the Adena Corporation to bring new life to the former Lazarus department store in the Richland Mall. The major renovation from retail to healthcare provides a new maternity unit for the growing Avita Ontario Health System in the Mansfield, Ohio area.

Inside the Design of a New Child Care Center

Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.) registered architect and principal, Matt Canterna, AIA is the architect and project manager for the New 18th Street Child Care Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH). The first phase of the design recently wrapped up construction and the facility is open to provide care for the children of NCH employees. To follow, Canterna provides insight and an “inside the design” overview of the many unique elements incorporated into this fun, fresh, and engaging facility for the pickiest of end-users.


The exterior design speaks to the brand and aesthetic of the growing NCH campus. The goal of the new facility is to be unique yet still convey the same sense of promise that every child and family feels when entering a NCH facility. A challenge was matching our two-story building to the look and feel of the campus composed predominantly of high-rise buildings. The solution was to use two colors of cast stone to complement the look of the rest of the campus composed mostly of precast panels.


The new Child Care Center was designed in two phases to allow for continued operation and the expansion of the building to provide care for more infants and toddlers. Phase 1 matched the current program size of the existing building and is designed and built in the parking lot of the existing facility. The program is operating in the new building and the previous center was recently demolished. Phase 2 builds the second half of the new building, which will double the number of children (and families) that they can serve. Phase 2 will be built in the footprint of the demolished existing building, and will also include a larger preschool playground as well as a staff parking lot.

Every square inch of the site is utilized. The new Child Care Center is located on a narrow, long urban site bounded by an artery street, city alley, and a major thoroughfare to the south. The existing child care center (building, playgrounds, and parent drop off) remained fully operational during the construction of the new facility.


The entire facility was designed to promote transparency and ensure total “sight and sound” of the children. You can see straight through the building in the center; the lobby, art room, extended learning areas- all open to the corridor and each other with full height glass along the corridor that promotes an expansive imagination and interest in other students, classes and activities.

Key features of the design include a large, central lobby with branded wall coverings, abundant natural light, double height ceilings, and a monumental open stair all serve as a great transparent ‘welcome’ to the building.

Also, unique to the design of the lobby is a book nook. This space provides teachers and students with an escape on a wet or blustery day when the playground is closed and promotes impromptu learning while students are waiting for pickup or checking in at drop off.


New to this facility is a full commercial kitchen and reading room. The kitchen allows for a chef to join the staff and prepare fresh and nutritious meals distinctively designed for the kids, instead of having food shipped over from the hospital’s main kitchen. This enhances the culinary offerings and reduces operating costs. Coming in Phase 2 is a reading room with computers to allow the center to provide break out lessons and activities for preschool and kindergarten students who are reading at an advanced level.


All infant and toddler rooms are on the first floor, with large open windows and doors to their age-appropriate playgrounds. A few key design elements to ensure continual sight and sound monitoring include an infant changing station positioned so that teachers will never have their back to the room or other students. Infant classrooms are paired, sharing a kitchen. The kitchens are centered and open to one another with a semi-circle design to promote a line of sight into the play area for teachers preparing bottles and food in the kitchens. The pairing of infant rooms also allows for staff flexibility, with aides able to float from room to room to support the needs of either classroom when appropriate.

Toddler rooms kitchens are also paired, but a sliding barn door that can close if one class is engaged in a quiet activity or nap time. The center of the classroom is open and spacious, for the flexibility of learning activities. The teacher desk is along the wall, with computer hookup to a large wall monitor so that teachers can pull up pictures and video to support their lesson plans. Large windows and door connect to their playground. The window sills are intentionally low so that the toddlers can look out. A sink – at child height, of course – is located just inside the playground door so that students can wash their hands coming in from play. Preschool and Kindergarten Rooms are located on the second floor in a similar layout and with the same primary design goals as the toddler rooms.

The new Child Care Center promotes wellbeing and development through unique design details. A quarter circle stair step was designed into a corner in each room, with three 4” steps to allow older infants to learn how to crawl up and down stairs. The stairs are covered in a fun, fuzzy carpet that is waterproof, stain resistant, and easily cleaned. The infant rooms also have a half-wall ‘vestibule’ for parents to check in, complete with a bench for parents to put the booties on their shoes to walk into the classroom if needed, and a built-in car-seat storage cabinet so if one parent drops off and another picks up, the car seat can stay with the child.


Security and safety were the primary design considerations. The facility has many security cameras throughout the interior and exterior. Parents are provided access cards to swipe in at the main door, and a video intercom is provided for guests and visitors. Exit stair doors and the elevator doors are also access controlled, to prevent the little ones from getting stuck/trapped/hide in the elevator or stairs. Additionally, playground gates all have alarmed panic hardware, to alert staff if a passerby is trying to enter the playground.


The design team worked with the narrow site to create an undulating topography that promotes exploration, changes in materials, and creates ‘destinations’ throughout the play space. The theme is ‘natural playscape’ – to reinforce the branding of the hospital but also provide a unique play experience that promotes learning through exploration rather than just dropping play structures on a flat site.

The design team wrapped the building with playgrounds so that they are accessible from every first-floor classroom and the south end of the building. This provides both security and a natural (and vibrant) extension of the classrooms with large windows connecting the spaces.


Built with all ‘outsulation’ – all insulation was continuous rigid insulation installed outside of the building sheathing to improve thermal performance. No thermal breaks with old school fiberglass batt insulation!

We applied a special UV resistant coating on the CMU wall that separates Phase 1 and Phase 2; this allowed us to protect the finished interior of phase 1 while saving cost vs. installing then removing a temporary cladding system on that wall. Most coatings are not resistant move than 60 days to the UV rays of the sun; we applied a coating that is resistant 180 days in order to provide the construction team time to erect and enclose the Phase 2 building before that coating starts to break down.

The lighting control system includes ‘vacancy sensors’ in each room. The difference between an occupancy sensor and a vacancy sensor is that a vacancy sensor requires a user to manually turn ‘ON’ a light, where the occupancy sensor automatically turns it on upon sensing you enter. This saves energy when the outside natural light is enough to satisfy the needs of the user when they enter a room, instead of the occ sensory assuming you always need more light. Both systems turn the lights off after a programmed amount of time after it senses you’ve exited a room.

The lobby lights also monitor the amount of daylight coming in through the curtain wall and dim or turn them off when they’re not needed.

Buck Wince on Opportunities for Healthcare in Retail

by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.) President and Founding Principal, Buck Wince recently attended the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon convention in Las Vegas, NV. Wince was part of a panel discussion that included Ethan Sullivan, Executive Director, Real Estate/ National Facilities Services at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Chad Pinnell, JLL Managing Director of Healthcare Solutions.

The panel addressed the opportunities in healthcare and retail as occupancy rates drop in malls and large retail areas. Strategically located in heavily populated areas, shopping centers and malls provide a valuable customer base for the competitive healthcare market. Wince is a noted speaker on the topic of “Healthcare as Retail” and was included in the panel to bring his unique perspective and passion to the subject.

It’s All About Location

Wince and Pinnell met while working on a previous project and clicked on their desire to create innovative and creative solutions to the challenges in the retail and healthcare markets. Wince and Pinnell previously presented at The American Marketing Association on the topic, “Healthcare Goes Retail.” According to Wince, “The opportunity for healthcare providers is to perfect a strategic process that delivers a well-located, convenient healthcare experience close to a complementary mix of consumer retail offerings. Today’s healthcare consumers have a choice. We want to make it easy for them to choose.”

Expanding Healthcare’s Reach

Over the past seven years, Wellogy has been heavily involved in innovative healthy community planning engagements. The firm has designed comprehensive, integrated outpatient healthcare facilities including Medically Integrated Fitness Center, FSED’s, Urgent Care, Multi-Specialty MOB’s, and ASC’s in mixed-use communities. Wellogy has branded the approach to creating healthy communities as Healthy Urbanism™. The passion behind Healthy Urbanism™ is a desire to affect the built environment by inspiring new solutions for the way we live. Wellogy designs environments to promote and encourage wellness.

Destination Health & Wellness

HR_0082by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

A place for medically integrated fitness…
The much-anticipated MC Fitness & Health opened in January 2016. A welcome addition to Delaware County, Ohio, it houses the second emergency room in the county, a fully equipped and staffed medically integrated fitness facility, physicians offices, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, women’s health, imaging, laboratory, exercise studios, pools, spa, café and community meeting spaces.



Before the opening of MC Fitness & Health, I had the opportunity to spend a day in the facility directing a photoshoot. As a member of the two firm design teams that produced the project- OLC Architecture, Interiors and Aquatics and Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd. Architecture), I finally experienced the result of months of work and planning in our office. The facility was empty of patrons, but not without life. The energy was starting to build as the array of fitness equipment was in place; the pool was filled with calm, clear water, and the staff offices, once empty, now had post-it notes with reminders in place. When we returned three weeks later for a follow-up photoshoot, the grand opening for the fitness facility had just occurred, and the Emergency Department was preparing to open the following day.



The walls were energized with vibrant graphics, the cafe’ was open, one of the local high schools occupied the 25-meter pool making waves during their daily swim team practice, and the facility was engaging the community in activity previously void on this corner of Delaware County. We witnessed women socializing over tandem treadmill walking, a bariatric patient taking the stairs to the fitness area, a recent heart surgery patient receiving exercise equipment instruction and assistance from a trainer, medical staff enjoying a healthy lunch in the Dash Café, a young woman with a knee injury strength training in the weight area, a man jumping rope in the cardio studio, a couple walking the upper level track, patients in the physical medicine area waiting to see their doctors, training in the laboratory, a senior fitness class in the smaller pool, and preparations for a meeting in both sides of the community conference rooms. It was alive with people on a wellness journey to make their lives better, to make their bodies stronger, to heal. Over 8 hours, we ran into several of the same people utilizing different parts of the facility from the workout area to the café and waiting areas. The years of planning had evolved into photo-ready moments, capturing the vision of the team.



MC Fitness & Health is nestled in one of Ohio’s fastest-growing counties. Delaware County has seen a 58% growth rate since 2000, according to the Delaware County Community Health Improvement Plan. The updated estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Delaware County has approximately 189,113 residents.

A case for medically integrated fitness…                                                                                                   

I am one of 189,113. Our family of 5 moved to Delaware County in 2000. Part of the big suburban sprawl in the early 2000’s, we built our home in a new neighborhood full of families with young kids. The community that in 2000 had one public outdoor pool and no indoor pools has seen incredible growth in population and facilities to accommodate the active residents. Over the past three years, I have come to realize the great value of easy access to medical care, the benefits of medically integrated fitness, and the convenience that an all-inclusive facility like MC Fitness & Health can provide to a family or individual with a complex medical condition.

Medical conditions can arise at any given time in our lives and in varying degrees of severity. Having access to outstanding care and convenient follow through for a recovery plan is key in times of medical upheaval. Our family logged thousand of miles traveling for medical needs and we found ourselves assembling and piecing together a plan of recovery to save our 13-year-old son. Three years ago, he suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke as the result of a brain aneurysm caused by a congenital birth defect known as an AVM. The condition was undiagnosed with no sign of distress until the morning it ruptured, a surprise to all of us.

From the onset and through the course of ongoing recovery, we have interacted with medical services requiring five brain surgeries, a two-month stay in the hospital, weekly lab work, speech, physical and occupational therapy, AFO and bracing, Botox injections, weekly visits for serial casting, to name a few. One complicating factor in the recovery plan was the piecing together of multiple services at multiple locations, some days spending more time traveling than the actual appointments. The care was outstanding, the traveling and coordinating- draining. To make life more interesting, our older son had knee surgery due to a bone fragment and was on crutches for six weeks and in physical therapy for three months. Then, to keep things entertaining and because we were getting used to our new life of medical issues, it happened again a year later. Another knee surgery for another bone fragment, crutches, therapy… then a fractured wrist. My older son’s medical appointments were at one location, therapy 15 miles away at another location. All the while, driving our younger son to the hospital (an hour round trip) from home for weekly blood work and to therapy requiring another hour-long round trip drive each visit, three times a week. We bought an exercise bike to have at home, bought lots of therapy aides, and joined a gym at the advice of both boys’ therapists. When you are dealing with medical conditions, life must go on. People must eat, sleep, work, play sports, and tend to everyday demands.

While the story is unique to my family, many face similar challenges when adjusting to life with a medical condition for themselves or a family member. Organizing, coordinating, and participating in healing efforts can be complicated by proximity to services and ease of use. Healthcare needs are best met when they offer convenience and affordability. Facilities like MC Fitness & Health not only offer great convenience in times of medical disruption, but they provide an opportunity to be a proactive player in your health and future wellness. The blending of expert clinical advice and dynamic fitness instruction in a single location is critical in the overall cycle of care.

Inclusive facilities offer health benefits for the support team as well as the patient. Aside from the obvious convenience of scheduling and proximity of appointments, as a caregiver, I would gladly welcome the opportunity to walk off some stress on a treadmill or enjoy a healthy dinner in the café while my son is in therapy. To improve the best possible health outcomes, health systems need to recognize the proactive benefits of uniting clinical care with medically integrated fitness and dedicate resources to develop inclusive and convenient facilities focused on restoring health and preventing future health issues. When this is accomplished and utilized to its fullest, the patients’ cycle of care will improve, as will the entire healthcare system.

MC Fitness & Health, Mount Carmel Health Systems is located at 7100 Graphics Way in Lewis Center, just north of Columbus, Ohio. Lewis Center is in Delaware County and is approximately 25 minutes directly north of Franklin County, where the State’s Capital and The Ohio State University reside.

Developer: NexCore Group
Architect of Record: OLC Architecture, Interiors and Aquatics
Medical Architect: Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.)
Power Wellness: Fitness Center Management
Construction: Elford

Photography: Pease Photography
Copyright, Scott Pease/Pease Photography