Versado is a company that has always been focused on details. We pride ourselves on creating custom training content for all our clients, building learning materials from the ground up for each project. When it came time to build our headquarters office in Raleigh, North Carolina, it was only natural that attention to detail would be top of mind. We found an amazing location near the North Hills area of town, an up-and-coming mecca for companies, both local and national. We purchased a building with plans to make it our own. Then COVID hit and we found ourselves stuck in an almost yearlong pause. During this time, our “Future Home of Versado Training” sign sat on a property that was quickly becoming overgrown—an eyesore if we are being honest. As the building sat empty, we planned the interior and daydreamed about ways to use the space once it was built.
As a first step, we knew we needed to remove many of the mature trees on the property to allow for employee parking. We didn’t love the idea of removing these trees, but it was a requirement for commercial building codes. It was decided rather quickly that we would use the wood from the trees in our construction process. We hired a local team to fell the trees and plane the wood into usable pieces that could be made into beams and shelving for the interior of the office. Knowing these trees would stay on the property in a recycled capacity made us all feel better about the tree removal.
The next step was to clear the lot in preparation for the demolition necessary to construct a new building that would meet commercial building code. Again, we felt a twinge of pain to just yank out the beautiful 20+ year-old azaleas, gardenias, and boxwood bushes that surrounded the property, but with all of the construction that had to happen there was no way to leave them. However, just because we could not keep them didn’t mean someone else could not enjoy them. One of the members of our construction team asked to take the assorted plants to his farm. We gladly agreed, and he and his wife spent days with heavy machinery carefully removing these beautiful mature bushes and taking them to their property, where they have been replanted and are thriving!
Our sign sat outside of the building for months on end, promising that Versado was “coming soon,” which began to feel comical after a while. However, it was nice to have our sign out as we kept hearing from people passing by. People who were connected to our new (very old) building in one way or another. One family reached out and shared that their grandparents had been the original owners of the property and had it built over 80 years ago. They wanted to know if it was possible to salvage some of the stone during the demolition, which was of course a yes! We were thrilled to help them save this piece of their family history.
Next up was the “little stuff” to demo on the interior. This building had served many purposes over the years, a residence and hair salon being the most recent. The easy answer was to just knock it all down and haul it away with the debris, but at Versado we rarely take the easy way out. Versado owners Josh and Rebekah Barricklow, along with their children, spent hours going through the interior, removing light fixtures, appliances, mirrors, and anything that was salvageable. These interior items were then taken to the local Habitat for Humanity and donated. Hopefully they will find their way to someone else’s home for a new chance at life. As these items were being loaded up and hauled away, a family stopped by to ask about our front door. The door was something we hadn’t thought much about, knowing it would have to be replaced for our purposes. Well, this family really loved the door and asked if they could buy it. Seeing as we were going to dispose of it anyway, we happily obliged and gave them the door to use on their home. Every bit salvaged was less to dispose of, and this community-driven upcycling process gave us great satisfaction.
As Josh and Rebekah have been giving our team monthly updates on the progress of our headquarters building, it has been so incredible to hear these stories about how our very old building is gaining new life in so many ways. The construction process will likely take the better part of a year to complete. We will have individual offices, large open meeting spaces, an audio and video recording studio, along with several large training rooms. We look forward to the future when our team can occupy and thrive in this incredible space.
If you are ever in Raleigh, come see us at 5101 Six Forks Road.