LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) – The old Lucedale post office is getting new life with the relocation of an area business to Main Street.

Encore Rehabilitation has operated in Lucedale for 40 years but made the move from its old space on Mill Street Ext., where it had been since 1994, to the new facility in recent weeks.

“We had outgrown the space, and when we were talking about renovations, the property manager Russell Evans showed us this space and thought it’d be perfect,” said clinical director Susan Hewlett. “It took some work. It was really a shell of a building, but it was well worth it.”

A major selling point of the unit was the near floor to ceiling windows facing Main Street to bring in natural light to help energize patients and staff.

The building at 5136 Main Street in Lucedale from Dec. 2016 (courtesy: Google Earth) and March 2023.

The staff includes a physical therapist, two physical therapy assistants, office manager, technician and a recent addition of a speech therapist.

They focus on pediatrics, orthopedics, sports medicine and general medicine to help restore patients’ mobility, especially after injuries or surgeries. The staff say work often includes helping people overcome mental roadblocks just as much as physical and the new open space helps enable that.

“Most of our patients come as patients and leave as family,” Hewlett said. “That’s the kind of atmosphere we really try to create. We love our roles here, everyone works together really well and that is what allows us to be effective with our patients in helping gain trust and reach their goals.”

Many of the patients that come into the rehab center recognize the space from when it served as the town’s post office. Much of the layout is the same. The current property managers believe Encore is the first business to move into the space since the post office relocated around the 1970s.

“It’s got a lot of history, we tried to keep the industrial feel of the building. We have the original doors from the post office and in the back entrance, you can see some wear from where the buggies hit it when bringing the carts of mail through,” Hewlett said.

Encore is a regional rehabilitation provider based in Decatur, Ala. with 150 clinics in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee.