Dental Depot’s unique offices have become familiar landmarks in their communities. But with 21 locations spread across three states and an average of two offices opening each year, it takes a team of people to drive and support the business’ growth.
Currently, more than 40 people work out of an inconspicuous building at the corner of NW 19th St. and N. Drexel Blvd. in Oklahoma City, known by team members as the Executive Leadership Office, or ELO (pronounced E-low) for short.
Originally a drugstore and soda shop built around the 1920s, the building has had several owners since the early 1990s. Dental Depot purchased the building in 2011 and used it as a headquarters. However, with the business’ growth in recent years, the leadership and support teams are quickly outgrowing the space.
“We’re a little cramped,” said Dr. Glenn Ashmore, founder and owner of Dental Depot.
The solution? Dr. Glenn said he and the team began to look for a space that could accommodate not only the current leadership and support staff, but also the growth to come.
Backing up to Northwest Classen High School, the former Northwest Christian Church building has been sitting vacant since the congregation decided to downsize in 2017. A 1969 graduate of the high school, Dr. Glenn is happy to have the opportunity to further invest in the area where he grew up.
The Dental Depot leadership team spent three years looking for a new space for its headquarters before settling on the former church building.
Built in 1956, the two-story building measures nearly 40,000 square feet. And while there’s room for the leadership team (and then some), transforming the building into a functioning office will be no small task. The renovation will be done in stages to allow the team to move into the office as early as Fall 2019, with the initial renovations focused on the upper floor.
Demolition began in December 2018 with the delicate removal of the steeple, which will be upcycled at a later time, as well as an asbestos purge. During the initial cleaning, workers discovered vaulted wooden ceilings hidden by the building’s original lowered ceilings. Luckily, the wooden ceilings are still in such great shape that they will be left exposed wherever possible.
“Our teams are really excited to move into the new building,” Dr. Glenn Ashmore said. “It’s a very unique opportunity that we have to design this building, both to fit our needs now and in the future, as we continue to grow.”
Heading up the renovation efforts are Fitzgerald Architects and D.H. French Construction Co., two teams who have worked with Dental Depot on the previous office builds to create the iconic train station look Dental Depot is known for.
This new ELO will feature a much more modest exterior than the dental offices, however, in an effort to maintain the original architecture of the church and limit confusion by patients looking for dental work.
The most dramatic change will take place at the front of the building. The steeple has already been removed and the original multi-door entrance to the sanctuary will be walled off and will include a large, rounded window which mimics the original windows that line the north and south walls of the sanctuary. The new window will be insulated and tinted to help regulate the building’s interior temperature and energy use.
Once renovated, the former sanctuary will be left open to include modular workspaces and offices for several of the directors, as well as Dr. Glenn. A second-floor “war room” will be created at the northwest end of the building to allow for collaborative planning on upcoming locations.
Where the pulpit and choir were previously stationed, a state-of-the-art conference room will be installed with a glass wall to maintain the openness of the space.
Throughout the building, former Sunday school rooms are being converted into team offices and training classrooms. Each department will have their own space with plenty of room to grow.
The building also includes a full-sized gymnasium and industrial kitchen on the ground floor, however, any significant renovations of the ground floor will be postponed until a later date.
This is an exciting time for our executive team so stay tuned in with us on social as we check back in with updates, photos and videos!