Dr. Nik Sather has plans to rebuild his dental office in Chetek, just over a year since Jan. 3, 2020, when a fire destroyed his building on Douglas Street.
Sather said the new location will be north of Chetek on CTH M, next to Green Leaf Farms. The state approved plans for the new building on Jan. 4, a year and a day after the fire. Sather also hopes to bring on a second dentist with the larger space.
Along with the fire, the pandemic has made for a tough year. Sather reopened in a temporary location in Rice Lake in January 2020. Then the first shutdown closed the office from March to May 11, about the time the original addition was set to finish and open. Since then, they have been open. They can run nearly at normal capacity in the smaller space. Sather said he appreciates his patients’ and staffs’ understanding throughout the year.
Alexa Basina, owner of In Step Dance Studio, which she ran in the basement of Sather Family Dental, said recovery after the fire has been rough and made even harder with the pandemic. “But we are surviving so far,” Basina said.
Since April 2020, In Step has been in the office space adjacent to Feather Real Estate at 121 Second St.
The City of Chetek had sold a parking lot to Sather to build an addition, which was partially completed when the fire happened. But the city does not want the lot back now. Sather intends to sell the land or build a commercial rental on the lot, but only after the new building is completed without hiccups.
Sather noted that they lacked adequate parking at the old location, but now they will have plenty of parking at the new location on CTH M.
“The fire was a life-changing event and has been a big detour in our plans. After a great deal of thinking about what to do next, we realized that we had a blank slate and decided to make the best out of a terrible situation,” Sather said last week.
With a purpose-built location, views of the country and new state-of-the-art equipment, there is a renewed sense of excitement, Sather said.
He hopes to break ground in April or May, with the plan to reopen by the end of 2021.