The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently took a bold step forward in its plan for future facilities in San Francisco. The school has signed a purchase agreement for a seven-story downtown building which features approximately 395,000 square feet of facility space.
The building is located on Fifth Street between Mission and Howard Streets in one of San Francisco’s most vibrant districts, the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood. The site was selected after an intensive review of more than 20 locations by a facilities task force made up of dental school representatives, University of the Pacific senior leaders and members of the Board of Regents. The purchase agreement, while not finalized, is expected to be complete by late 2011 barring any unforeseen delays.
Future plans will include an extensive renovation and remodeling of the entire building, which is currently vacant. The building will be completely stripped down to its structural elements. The exterior will be re-skinned and the interior designed from scratch. One advantage of the building’s large, open floor plan is the opportunity to have a blank slate for the dental school to design and create optimal facilities. Design and remodeling work is expected to take up to two years to complete before students, faculty and staff can occupy the building.
When it came time to look for a new location, the school had an extensive wish list driven by several years of new facility feasibility and programming studies. Key features include: flexible space for modern learning environments; clinical spaces to support the new group practice model being planned as part of the new Pacific Dental Helix Curriculum implementation; a more convenient location accessible via public transportation for patients; communal space to better support the school’s culture; and environmentally efficient facilities to replace the aging systems and equipment currently used in the school’s existing building in Pacific Heights.
Approximately 225,000 square feet in the building will house dental school facilities. Additional square footage will be used by University of the Pacific for other purposes, which include the possibility of leasing space to commercial tenants or use by the University for programs in San Francisco in years ahead.
“This exciting step is the culmination of many years of feasibility studies and planning as part of the implementation of our strategic plan, Advancing Greatness,” said Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., a member of the Facilities Steering Committee. “While we have much work ahead of us, we are confident this new location will serve us well for decades to come. I would like to thank the school community, including our alumni and donors, who continue to support this vision to create state-of-the-art facilities that will keep us on the leading edge of dental education.”
The school also recently selected Nova Partners, Inc. as its project management firm, SmithGroup as its lead architectural firm and Plant Construction Company as its general contractor.
More details will be shared in future issues of Contact Point and other announcements to the school and alumni communities.