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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 20, 2008

College of Dentistry proceeding with building renovation plans

University of Iowa College Dentistry leaders are moving forward with plans to renovate the 35-year-old Dental Science Building.

At its meeting Feb. 7 in Ames, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa approved the college's request to select an architectural firm and proceed with planning for the project.

"This is an exciting time for the college," said David Johnsen, dean of the UI College of Dentistry. "We are grateful to the Regents and to our university colleagues and leaders for their involvement in this effort. The modernization of the Dental Science Building will ensure our success in meeting the needs of our students, our faculty and our patients with the new, accessible and cutting-edge facilities."

College of Dentistry officials want to transform the building by renovating and expanding clinical areas, increasing classroom and student space, and upgrading dental research facilities.

The Dental Science Building, completed in 1973, is a four-story concrete structure with 200,844 gross square feet. The building's south wing is dedicated to patient care and associated clinical support. The north wing houses dental research laboratories, college administration offices, and the preventive and community dentistry department.

The second floor of the building's north wing was renovated in 1998 to create a simulation clinic for pre-clinical instruction, as well as a new classroom and instructional bench lab.

"The dental chairs and associated building infrastructure are original to the building," Johnsen noted. "We have made a number of small improvements over the years to keep the building in good functional shape, but the time has come where we need to take a larger view."

The UI College of Dentistry is Iowa's only dental school and is one of the few colleges in the nation that offers advanced education in all dental specialties, as well as residencies in general and hospital dentistry. The college has 10 academic departments with 320 pre-doctoral students and around 90 graduate students. Approximately 80 percent of Iowa's dentists have graduated from the college.

The college's general and specialty dental care clinics receive about 125,000 patient visits each year.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,