UofL School of Dentistry Celebrates the Completion of $45 Million Renovation

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville today marked the completion of a two-year renovation with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The $45 million project added more than 20,000 sq. feet and renovated another 211,000 sq. feet. The school had received few updates since it moved from 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 James Ramsey, PhD, UofL President. "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, MD, PhD, UofL Executive Vice President for Health Affairs.

Senior dental student 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," Curtis said.

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, DDS, MS, School of Dentistry Dean. "The renovated facility will foster a practice-based research network."

The school also is placing an emphasis on integrating local art into the building through collaboration with the Louisville Visual Arts Association. Several pieces of art are on loan and on temporary display through the end of the year. The art is located near the main entrance, the first floor and in the pediatric dentistry area. The dental school has joined the Society for the Arts in Healthcare and hopes to integrate local art in the building on a more permanent basis.

"Research shows that art can ease patient anxiety," Sauk said. "The art also enhances the beauty of our new facility."

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 HVAC systems and lighting controls that reflect the occupancy of the building.