High Desert Physical Therapy has taken on a new type of patient — one that has needed some tender loving care for nearly a decade.
The vacant building previously known as St. Paul’s Catholic Church is undergoing a revival at the hands of High Desert’s owners, Jared and Emily Pugmire, who expect to be treating patients at their new location on 820 W. Chubbuck Road on Aug. 5.
“We wanted to use the good bones (of the building),” Jared said. “Everyone in the neighborhood is super excited to see people using something old. It also makes it more of a destination site rather than just a regular building. When you walk, in there’s a presence here. Nothing is in your face, and it has a very soothing effect.”
Already, their exterior renovations on the property, which include painting the building white and cleaning up the landscape, have attracted the attentions of curious locals, Jared said. Because of this, they will be holding an open house from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 15 for the public to see the renovations in full.
The Pugmires intend to preserve certain iconic aspects of the building, which include exposed beams that overlook the main room, but they will also be revamping other areas to better suit the clinic’s functioning needs.
“People love it,” Jared said. “This building is just so unique to Pocatello. When you tell people, ‘It’s that one building that looks like a space ship,’ or ‘It’s that one building that’s in the ground,’ they’re always like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve seen that!’”
The new location is a huge expansion for the Pugmires, who are transitioning from 1,800 square feet at their current location to 8,000 square feet at their new location — 2,000 square feet of which will operate as Emily’s art studio and have its own separate wing where she will hold classes for people of all ages.
Emily, who was classically trained in art in Florence, Italy, will also paint a mural of the local landscape of the region’s mountains in the main room of the clinic.
“Art has always been part of my thing and (Jared has) always been very supportive,” she said. “So it’s fun that we get to have our thing together.”
Thanks in part to the large expansion, Jared plans to hold workshops each month that the public can attend to learn about what physical therapy can do for their injuries and health issues. The new space will also increase parking and give patients the opportunity to work outdoors, Jared said.
“When I got into physical therapy, I wanted to help people, but you also wanted to make it fun and enjoyable,” he said. “And with this extra space and just the character of this building, it allows for that. We have plenty of outside space for kids or athletes. It also gives us more space to have some fun. It’s a unique setting, I would say, going to physical therapy in an old church and being able to keep something that was here and being able to revive that.”
“It’s good to have high-quality physical therapy care,” Emily added. “It’s an added bonus to have a really beautiful building to do it in. I think we consider ourselves pretty lucky to have found it.”
High Desert Physical Therapy is currently located on 345 Yellowstone Ave. in Pocatello and appointments can be scheduled at highdesertphysicaltherapy.com. The phone number is (208) 240-6017. The fax number is (208) 240-6023.