SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 17, 2012) — The University of Texas System Board of Regents this month authorized a $95 million oral health care center at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. The new facility, to be constructed adjacent to the university’s Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC) on Floyd Curl Drive, will improve dental education and training and enable the Dental School to sustain its top-tier ranking, said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the Health Science Center.
The MARC is the flagship location of UT Medicine San Antonio, the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center. The proximity of the new dental facility to the MARC outpatient medical care clinics will greatly assist referrals and management of patients with oral health conditions, said Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, D.D.S., M.S., dean of the Dental School.
The new facility will allow the Health Science Center to enhance educational and clinical interactions between clinical specialties. “The Health Science Center’s schools work together to educate the entire health care team, and we are excited about the opportunity to care for the region’s oral health needs and conduct clinical research studies in a new facility that is closely inter-related with our medical colleagues,” Dean Kalkwarf said.
The building will be named the Center for Oral Health Care at the MARC. Plans call for approximately 172,000 gross square feet on four levels and a 450-car parking garage. The building will be constructed using cost-effective methods, similar to the MARC and other medical structures. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
The Dental School ranks among the top dental schools nationwide, according to the dental education blog Top Ten Nation. The school began educating students in 1970 and granted its first degrees in 1974. The existing Dental School building was dedicated in July 1975. Faculty members have provided state-of-the-art care in multiple specialties to thousands since that time.
The existing building will be repurposed for non-health-care activities in the future, alleviating the Health Science Center’s research and educational space deficit, Dean Kalkwarf said.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.