Take a walk through the college and it’s likely you’ll see some renovations under way in the building. The facilities services department recently has been renovating the basement, second, fifth and seventh floors to provide more space, improve efficiency and maximize patient care.
In the basement, the first- and second-year dental student labs have expanded to accommodate the college’s larger entering class sizes. In the D2 students’ simulation lab, digital radiography units also have been added.
Even patients will notice the changes on the college’s second floor, where the pediatric dentistry and orthodontics clinics are changing. The shared waiting area for both clinics is expanding so that waiting chairs will no longer sit in the hallway.
In the orthodontics clinic, the chair sites soon will be served by mobile storage carts instead of cabinetry. Chairs will each have a mounted computer and digital display screen for digital records. Officials say the chairs should be installed by late December.
Across the hall in the pediatric dentistry department, a new central office is under construction that will group the department’s executive offices together to improve daily office management.
Most of the construction is accomplished by staff members of the facilities services department. Although complex projects occasionally require outside contractors, department director Dale Christensen says his staff is typically well-qualified to build most of the projects.
Faculty and staff members who are benefiting from the changes express their appreciation for the department’s hard work.
“They’re great to work with,” says Londa Wilder, education specialist for pediatric dentistry. “They put their heads down and get the job done.”
The job is indeed done on the college’s fifth floor, in the recruitment and admissions department. There, a new interview waiting room was completed recently for applicants and their families. The room offers much more space for the nine students who interview on an average day and offers views of downtown while nervous applicants wait.
On the top floor of the college, changes have occurred for the public health sciences department and, yet again, for the orthodontics department. The social services office has moved around the corner to where classroom 736 was located. This puts them closer to the rest of the public health sciences department. On the other end of the seventh floor, the orthodontics department has several new conference rooms, classrooms and student lockers.
After current construction projects are complete, the facilities services department won’t rest for long. Projects are already planned for next summer, including expansion of the third- and fourth-year student labs. The college also will complete its ongoing movement toward a central instrument sterilization system. During the past two years, each clinic has upgraded to state-of-the-art processing and distribution areas. The project will culminate in summer 2009 with the construction of a central sterilization area on the south end of the college’s second floor.
Ongoing renovations help provide the latest technology, efficiency and comfort to HSC-BCD, in a building that was planned with change in mind.
“When this building was constructed, Dr. Kenneth Randolph, who was then dean, assured us it was designed to move walls and change,” says Dr. Sue Seale, chair of pediatric dentistry. “And the facilities services department does just that. In my years here, I’ve seen renovations of renovations that were renovations, and they do it so well, they make it look easy.”