The University of Louisville today broke ground on a two-year renovation project that will mean more space and much needed clinical improvements for the UofL School of Dentistry. The school has received few updates since it moved from Brook and Broadway to Preston Street in 1970.
“Upgrades are critical to competing nationally for high quality students, recruiting talented faculty and attracting patients who need care and who augment the educational experience of our students,” said James Ramsey, UofL President.
The project will add more than 20,000 sq. feet and renovate another 200,000 sq. feet. Enhancements will consist of updates to infrastructure, operatory equipment and clinical education support. Other features will include a move to digital radiography, incorporation of an electronic health records system and state-of-the-art classroom technology. Improvements in patient waiting rooms and clinical space will include the installation of new chairs, lighting, cabinetry and touch screen computer terminals. “Our students deserve an environment that is conducive to learning modern dentistry,” said Larry Cook, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. “We have a responsibility to provide them with the tools needed to succeed and become vibrant members of the dental community.”
The improvements will have a far-reaching effect on the school’s capacity for innovation.
“Collaboration among departments and disciplines is essential to treat and solve the complexities of oral diseases,” said John Sauk, School of Dentistry Dean. “The renovated facility will foster a practice-based research network.”
The school plans to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the Green Building Certification Institute. Among the green changes will be more efficient HVAC systems and lighting controls that reflect the occupancy of the building.
Funding for the renovation will come from tuition, clinical revenue and philanthropic giving. This is expected to be the largest publicly funded bid project in the state for this fiscal year.
The project is expected to create more than 500 new construction jobs, plus nearly 290 spinoff jobs. The economic impact is estimated at $68 million in Louisville.