At a meeting Saturday in Kirksville, the A.T. Still University (ATSU) Board of Trustees approved a $26 million bond issue for constructing and equipping a new building on the Kirksville campus of ATSU to establish the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health. This positive decision by the board is a critical step toward welcoming 40 students in the fall of 2013. The 61,000-square-foot facility, on two floors, will be an interprofessional education and dentistry school building to house not only the dental school, but also space for medical school students from ATSU TMs Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
In addition to approving the bond issue for construction and equipment, the board also endorsed a change from a dental program (distant-site branch campus) under ATSU TMs highly successful Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ASDOH) to a stand-alone school of dentistry and oral health. This new approach will allow the Kirksville school more flexibility and enhance the process of accreditation by CODA (Council on Dental Accredition), according to ATSU-ASDOH Dean Jack Dillenberg.
Dr. Jack Magruder, ATSU President said, I am grateful to the board for their guidance and encouragement during the many months of developing the dental school and am extremely proud of what we have accomplished so far and will accomplish in the future. A dental school based in Kirksville will have a tremendous positive impact on the city and state and will graduate highly competent and caring professionals who will carry out our mission and vision to serve the underserved. This was a great weekend for all of us, and I look forward to construction of the facility with confidence and enthusiasm.Construction on the Interprofessional Education & Dentistry School B uilding is expected to begin in spring 2012, to be located on ATSU property facing Jefferson Street east of existing University buildings. The design and plans for the building have been developed by Cannon Design, an architectural firm based in St. Louis.