The public will enter from the east side of the building — what traditionally has been the back of the school, instead of coming in from Preston Street. The change is part of a two-year renovation project that will provide more space and much needed clinical improvements to the school.

The Preston Street entrance officially will close Dec. 27 during winter break. Directional signs will guide pedestrians along the south side of the school to the new front entrance.

More than half the construction within the school is finished, including the new oral surgery and radiology clinics, graduate periodontic and endodontic clinics, orthodontic and pediatric clinics, faculty offices located in the basement and one high-tech classroom that is nearly renovated. The remainder of the $40-million project is on schedule for completion in fall 2011.