ALBERT LEA, Minn. – A southern Minnesota dental office has outgrown their current location and are ready to move on.
Dr. Rachel Nolander-Poppel grew up in Albert Lea. Dental school took her away from her hometown and into bigger cities. While that could have meant a bigger customer base if she stayed, she came right back when given the chance.
“I never even gave failure a thought. I just knew that Albert Lea was where I was supposed to end up,” Nolander-Poppel said.
That mentality has worked out for her. In 2011, she bought a dental office. Three years later, they have outgrown it.
“We have an incredible list of patients waiting to get into the office. We’re excited to be able to accommodate them now, and also have more time available for our patients of record already,” Nolander-Poppel said.
They broke ground on a new facility Friday. It will be about four times the size of their current office, and includes some of the latest technology.
“We have digital impressioning, we have Cone Beam CT technology for imaging, we’re having intraoral cameras. Things that will not only enhance their experience, but the level of care that the patients will be receiving,” Nolander-Poppel said.
The plot of land is made up of trees and brush for now, but soon it will house a brand-new dental office. It is expected to bring in ten to 12 jobs in the next 12 to 18 months.
“The local economics are improving. We’ve seen that since 2011, and especially now as we’ve gotten into 2014. The concern of the economic impact has been much less,” said Kevin Poppel, Rachel’s husband and General Manager.
On top of bringing full-time jobs to the area, they are trying to work with local companies on the project.
“It’s critical that we support the community that we live in for the future of ourselves, our businesses, and the future of our children,” Poppel said.
He said so far, 98 percent of the work has been given to local contractors.
They plan to start construction on Monday. If everything goes as planned, Poppel said the project should be complete by February.