A family-owned Orangeburg chiropractic practice has opened an 8,000-square-foot office in a former bank building.

Marsch Chiropractic Center opened at 761 John C. Calhoun Drive next door to Cook Out and Calhoun Plaza. The building formerly housed a Bank of America branch.

The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon. The office is closed Saturday and Sunday.

“It has been a long journey,” Dr. Dennis Shay said about relocating from Elliott Street to the new building. The entire process, done during COVID, took a little over two years to complete. The business opened in its new location in the middle of December 2021.

The business plans to hold a grand opening as COVID rates fall.

Shay said the building was in bad shape.

“We gutted everything out and we started from scratch,” he said. 

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Shay’s son, Chris, was the lead contractor. His sons-in-law as well as all six of his grandchildren, due to remote learning, were able to help with the remodel.

“It was a learning experience but it turned out to be a fun family project,” Shay said. “It was just family, so COVID did not really bother us much. There was nobody else involved.”

The former Bank of America branch was purchased by South State Bank back in April 2015 as part of a larger purchase of branches in South Carolina and Georgia.

South State never used the building as a branch because it was too close to existing South State branches.

The bank’s former vault serves as storage. The vault door was removed.

Shay said keeping the vault as a place to lock up HIPPA documents was considered but was not feasible. The door was sold to a company out west.

The drive-through tellers have been removed and a garden area is planned for the spot.

The new location has about 30 parking spaces, double the previous office site.

Shay purchased the bank building in the fall of 2019 in an effort to find additional space. The practice’s Elliott Street location had about 1,800 square feet to work with, which was just to small to meet growing needs.

With the additional space, Marsch Chiropractic is looking to add more services, Shay said.

The office already has manual adjusting, newer more gentle computerized adjusting, intersegmental traction, electrical muscle stimulation and ultrasound therapy.

The business is in the process of trying to add mechanical motion therapy, spinal decompression traction therapy, pulsed electric and magnetic fields therapy and cold laser therapy.

Supply-chain issues have held up the shipment of equipment, delaying the implementation of these additional services, Shay said. The equipment was ordered over a year ago.

“We want to add new services, things that don’t exist in Orangeburg,” Shay said. “Part of the reason for doing this, we were just crowded across the street and we needed a place to put new equipment.”

Shay said the desire is to sell the Elliott Street building.

Marsch currently employs six with Dr. Michael Bozzone the lead doctor.

A native of New York, Bozzone grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of South Carolina in Aiken and graduated from Life Chiropractic University in Marrietta, Georgia, in 1999.

“Dr. Mike,” as he goes by, started at Marsch Chiropractic Center in 2013.

The office provides relief care, wellness care, care for back and neck pain, work injuries, sports injuries, accidental injuries, auto accidents, sciatica and muscle pain, scoliosis, pediatric chiropractic, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

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Dr. Howard Marsch opened the clinic in November 1950. It was the same month and year Shay was born.

Marsch purchased five lots for the property and was targeting a Dec. 1, 1950, opening, but the demand for his services prompted him to open a month early.

“He was painting and fixing up the building and the patients were knocking on the door wanting to be patients and he was not finished yet,” Shay said.

Marsch practiced for 39 years before retiring.

Shay took over the practice in 1989 and retired last year after 33 years in practice.

Shay said the similarities between him and Marsch, who has since passed away, have been uncanny.

Both men started their careers as engineers in Ohio and Pennsylvania before moving to Orangeburg.

“Howard developed some problem and went to half a dozen different docs and nobody could fix him,” Shay said. “He went to a chiropractor and he fixed him right up. He was so impressed and he quit his job and went to chiropractor school.”

Another similarity is that Marsch’s daughter, Cindy, worked with her father for his entire career.

Shay’s daughters, Crystol and Catie, both have worked with Shay his entire career.

“We had a lot in common,” Shay said. “Got along good.”

The men both retired at about the same age — Marsch at 70 and Shay at about the same time. Shay is semi-retired, helping out when he can and if needed.

“I am disappointed that I worked my whole life in the old facility and I don’t get to work in this beautiful facility,” Shay said. “It is a beautiful facility. It has come out amazing.”

The new digs continue to be successful.

“We are very fortunate to keep busy here,” he said. “We start 10 or 15 new patients a week.”

There is also room for another doctor’s office.

The building has five empty rooms in the back that Shay says he would like to rent out.

“Preferably to somebody in the medical profession, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant,” he said.

The space is about 1,500 square feet. The office space would have a back parking lot.

The future looks bright.

Shay noted his grandson, Chris Brown, is currently in his second year at Sherman Chiropractic School and is planning to join Marsch upon graduation. Another grandson is also expected to start chiropractic school in the coming year.

“I also have a few other grandchildren interested in becoming chiropractors as well, so we will see where the future takes us,” Shay said.

In the meantime, Shay will continue to enjoy semi-retirement.

Riding his motorcycle is what he will continue to do.

For more information about the clinic, visit marschchiropractic.com or call 803-536-1635.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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