Sopris Sun Correspondent
In keeping with Carbondale’s growing reputation as a healthy place to live and work, the town is about to get yet another large medical office facility — a dental office on a now-vacant lot between Heritage Park Care Center and Alpine Bank, near the corner of Village Road and Highway 133.
This will be the town’s second new, enlarged medical business, following recent completion of the Roaring Fork Family Physicians of Valley View Hospital facility further south along the highway.
The new dental office is being built by Doctors Matt and Taylor Verheul (pronounced ver-heel), and their partner, long-time local dentist Eugene Covello.
All three dentists, along with their staffs, will be moving to the new building once it is finished, some time next year, Matt Verheul told The Sopris Sun in a telephone interview on Dec. 18.
The building where the dentists currently practice, at 289 Main St., is owned by Covello, who has been in practice at that location since 1975. The Verheuls joined Covello’s practice approximately six years ago, and three years ago Covello sold the business to his partners, but not the property.
Covello, reached by telephone in Grand Junction, where he now lives and commutes to the Carbondale office, said he will continue working for now.
“I’m not ready to close it up yet, but I was ready to not be running it,” said Covello, who added that he is not done yet as a dentist.
“I’m gonna be around for a while,” he said. “I feel real good and I really love doing dentistry.”
And doing what one loves is something that, at the age of 65, he has been immensely grateful for, he added.
“I think it keeps us stimulated, it keeps us healthy and young,” he remarked, adding that he is not sure what he will do with the old office building on Main Street.
Plans for the new building, however, are under review in the town of Carbondale’s building department, where building official John Plano said it is to be a two-story building with 5,000 square feet of space on each floor.
It is to be built on a lot of 35,197 square feet, which Verheul said will be taken up by the structure and by a large parking lot to accommodate the vehicles anticipated for the dental business as well as whatever else ends up there.
In addition, according to Plano, the plans call for a three-car, private garage at the back of the lot.
The architect for the building, Plano reported, is Frank Malek, of the firm, 101 Architecture in Greenwood Village, a suburb of Denver.
The dentists will be working on the first floor, Verheul said, while the upstairs is currently configured for three different business or retail spaces.
But, noted Matt Verheul, “it could end up being very different. I’m just kind of leaving my options open.”
Concerning the new building, which is predominantly the Verheuls’ venture, “We’re definitely really excited about it.”
The couple had been looking around for a place to build, he explained, and “there’s not a lot of available dirt around,” at least not with ample space for parking.
And parking, he said, has been “one of our problems here” at the Main Street location.
The new location, Verheul said, is a good one because of its proximity to the highway, which will make it easy to locate for customers not familiar with the town.
Still, he added, “Honestly, the location, for our business, since we’re primarily word-of-mouth (in terms of marketing and attracting new customers), is not that important to us. We would have liked to stay on Main Street. We like it downtown.”
Verheul, 39, is from South Dakota originally. He met his wife, who is from Montana, while the two were attending dental school in Minnesota.
They practiced together in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for “a few years,” he said, before relocating to Carbondale.
And they are happy they did, he continued.
“Taylor and I love this valley, and we love this city,” he remarked enthusiastically.