Needing more space to better serve patients, Dr. Christopher Smith O.D. of Smith Vision Center has opened a new location.

Needing more space to better serve patients, Dr. Christopher Smith O.D. of Smith Vision Center has opened a new location.

With the needed expansion, Dr. Smith decided to build his own office at 650 W. Sixth Ave. in El Dorado. Smith Vision Center first opened in August 2011.

“We started out with just one exam room and a little bit of space there,” Dr. Smith said. “We ended up adding a second exam room while we were there. After five or six years we were out of space. We need something that was a lot bigger that we could grow into in the future.”

Dr. Smith choose the Sixth Avenue location because it was more of a destination location than a drive by location like when he was on Central. The new building is prominent in the older neighborhood.

When we were on Central, it seemed like everyone just drive down Central and doesn’t really pay attention to what’s on the sides,” Dr. Smith said. “They just drive down there and unless their going to that business they’re not looking for it.”

With the new location more local eyes will notice the office.

“More locals drive down Sixth Street,” Dr. Smith said. “Being able to put up our own building and our sign it will get a lot more attention than a strip mall off the side of a bunch of signs there.”

Dr. Smith went the new construction route because he could build to his needs rather than modifying an existing space.

“We had looked at possibly buying something and refurbishing it or renovating it, but an Optometry Clinic is so different from everyone else,” Dr. Smith said. “We’re even different than a regular doctor’s office. We need certain size exam rooms. We need certain size equipment. It came down to finding something that was already built then renovating vs. building something new.”

The location was designed by Mayor Vince Haines, an architect at Gravity Works Architecture. McCollum Construction built the building.

“He sat down and drew up everything,” Dr. Smith said. “From where the rooms are going to go to how the patient flow is. The optical size and everything.

Smith Vision Center is not your typical small town Optometry office. It has the look and modern fell of an office in a bigger city.

“We wanted a wide open feel,” Dr. Smith said. “ After being in a smaller office for several years, we wanted something that’s a big open space. We like space. We want it to where when you walk in, you’re not feeling like your cramped.”

He wants the service to feel like an experience patients get from a small family practice but a location where his patients feel comfortable.

“We just wanted to something really nice into El Dorado that people would be proud of and will be able to come see us at,” said Dr. Smith.

After being open for two months, the reaction from the patients has been positive.

“Nothing but positives,” Dr. Smith said. “We don’t do a lot of advertising. The majority of our business is word of mouth. We see somebody, the tell their family members or friends. They schedule their kids. They schedule their husband or wife. That’s how the majority of our patients come to see us.”

Many of his patients have seen how the practice has grown.

“A lot of our patients have grown with us,” Dr. Smith said. “They are the reason we do what we do here. A lot of them knew we were building. We had a sign up in our office. They were coming by. People would stop by and tell us ‘Hey, I saw they were pouring the concrete today. They were framing today’”

The entire staff at Smith Vision Center helped with the new location.

“I had a great team of people around to do this,” Dr. Smith said. “My wife and family are very important in this. The staff was very important in this. They spent numerous hours sitting down helping pick out what paint colors.”

Dr. Smith is originally from Parsons and is a graduate of Parsons High School in 1999. He then attended Pittsburg State Univeristy and Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State) in Springfield, Mo.

He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. in 2008 and has been practicing for 10 years.

Dr. Smith also has a Wichita office at 670 East 47th St. For more information or to set up an appointment call (316) 452-5999 or visit http://www.smithvisioncenter.com/.

The El Dorado Office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except for Tuesdays. On Tuesdays the office opens at 1:30 and closes at 5:30 p.m