ALTON — When Southern Illinois University Edwardsville dental students return to school next fall, they’ll see some much-needed changes at their clinic.
On March 19, SIU’s Board of Trustees approved a contract to remodel the student lab in the SIU School of Dental Medicine’s dental clinic building on the Alton campus. It also approved planning for development of an Edwardsville campus dental clinic.
Dr. Bruce Rotter, dean of SDM, said the renovations bring the equipment and technology on par with the building’s new multidisciplinary lab. First- and second-year dental students use the lab to practice on mannequins.
“The facilities are aging,” he said. “The multipurpose lab was redone a year ago and we were at a point when major equipment needed to be replaced.”
Renovations include installing new electrical, natural gas and compressed air for each lab station and replacing existing dental casework, flooring, ceiling pads and general lighting. Work will include provisions for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
The SDM receives 600 to 700 applications for 50 student positions.
“We’re constantly trying to improve so students get the highest-quality education with the latest technology,” Rotter said.
The project will be funded from the dental clinic operations fund and the dental equipment fee. R&W Builders Inc., of Belleville, is the general contractor with a bid of $475,000. Work will begin May 18 and is expected to be complete by the time fall semester begins in late August.
The Edwardsville campus clinic is not new, Rotter said. The dental school’s first clinic was dedicated in 1986 but hadn’t been used by SDM for many years.
“It was the clinic we originally started with,” he said. “We’re now reacquiring the building and repurposing it because we need the additional space. A lot of the major equipment needs to be replaced so we’re taking this opportunity to do the work.”
The clinic, located at 195 University Park Drive, primarily will be used to accommodate SDM’s newly approved International Advanced Placement Program. The accelerated program is for students who are practicing dentists in their home countries but who need to be licensed to practice in the United States.
AAIC Architects of Collinsville was selected to assist in determining the extent and cost of the project. Once a comprehensive cost estimate is determined, SIU’s Board of Trustees will consider the final project and budget and will award contracts.