Fire postpones opening

Published 1:38 am Monday, March 20, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - A business opening delayed more than three months, finally took place.
Dr. Rick Beckermeyer held a grand opening celebration Friday afternoon at his new dentist office at 123 Marmont St. in Niles.
The facility caught fire only 10 days before its original opening was scheduled on Dec. 16, 2005.
The brand new 6,100 square foot building rests on the corner of Front and Marmont streets, across from the South County government building.
Beckermeyer, a self-described “dental phobic” as a child, said in a speech to around 20 guests that the office was designed to make a patient's visit as comfortable as possible.
He also thanked the City of Niles Fire Dept. for their work last year.
The strong Christian faith shared by Beckermeyer and his wife Cindy is recognizable throughout the entire facility. The sidewalk to the entrance of the office will soon be lined by seven tall pillars, which Beckermeyer said are meant to represent the seven days of creation. The width of the building is also in multiples of seven.
The Beckermeyer's also wanted to avoid a typical waiting room. The area is surrounded with almost two full walls of windows and the furniture is purposely not arranged in long, static lines.
Patients should also feel comfortable knowing the hallway walls curve out and around to block any view of the examination rooms.
The walls of the entire office are painted in multiple shades of blue, that gradually become lighter as they reach the ceiling to symbolize getting closer to heaven, Cindy explained.
Wrapping around the top of the walls just below the ceiling are verses from the Bible. The ceiling itself contains 12 skylights to represent the tribes of Israel.
The Beckermeyer's family also helped with the design. Cindy's father, Jose Gonzalez, painted a large mural about the story of Revelations 21 and 22 leading down the back stairs to the employee exercise room.
The addition of Beckermeyer's office along Front Street was the next step of improvements along Front Street following the South County Government Building.
The opening of the office was made official by a ribbon cutting ceremony with Sather, City Administrator Terry Eull, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Four Flags Chamber of Commerce Donna Palmer, Rep. Neal Nitz (R-Baroda), Rep. Rick Shaffer (R-Three Rivers) and Chris Siebenmark from the office of Sen. Ron Jelinek (R-Three Oaks).