The University of Louisville (UofL) School of Dentistry recently marked the completion of a two-year, $45 million renovation that added more than 20,000 square feet and renovated another 211,000. The school had received few updates since it moved from its location at Brook and Broadway to Preston Street in 1970.
“UofL has a mission to improve the lives of people in the Commonwealth, and this is a visible way in which we are accomplishing that goal,” said University of Louisville President James Ramsey, Ph.D. “If we are to provide the education and training for the next generation of health care providers for Kentucky, we must remain on the leading edge of teaching and training practices, which requires the appropriate investment in new technology. This renovation will enable our students to have the best possible learning environment.”
Enhancements include updates to infrastructure, operatory equipment, and clinical education support. Other features include new digital radiography, incorporation of an electronic health records system and state-of-the-art classroom technology. Improvements in patient waiting rooms and clinical space include new chairs, lighting, cabinetry, and touch screen computer terminals. In addition, the main entrance has moved to the east side of the building, creating a safer area for patient drop-off.
“These 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 David Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Health Affairs for UofL.
Senior dental student Ms. Caroline Curtis said students are very excited about the new opportunities. “We have access to new technology like the digital scanner—an optical wand that allows us to take multiple pictures and build a three-dimensional image on a computer—technology that will ultimately replace the traditional metal tray used to take an impression of the teeth,” she said.
School of Dentistry Dean John J. Sauk, D.D.S., M.S., indicated that the school plans to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the Green Building Certification Institute. Among the green changes are more efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and lighting controls that reflect the occupancy of the building.
The improvements will also 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 Dr. Sauk. “The renovated facility will foster a practice-based research network.”