LECOM Breaks Ground For School of Dental Medicine

Administrators and trustees from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine joined with local, state and federal leaders to launch construction of a new building for the LECOM School of Dental Medicine.

Work has begun on the state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot, two-story facility just 500 feet north of the current LECOM Bradenton campus. The construction is underway on 36 acres along Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and 44th Avenue, with the work on schedule for the opening of the School of Dental Medicine in July 2012.

LECOM School of Dental Medicine Dean Dr. Robert Hirsch, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Michael Visnosky, LECOM President and CEO John Ferretti, DO, Rep. Bill Galvano and President of the Florida Dental Association Dr. Larry Nissen break ground on the LECOM School of Dental Medicine.

Conceptually, the structure houses two facilities under one roof, the dental school and a patient clinic.

"The LECOM School of Dental Medicine will build a footbridge between the present and the future of Dentistry throughout the Southwest Florida region," said LECOM President and CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O. "LECOM recognizes that dentists have become an integral team player in improving the health of their patients. The role that they play in preventive medicine corresponds with the osteopathic principals of total health care as taught by the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the School of Pharmacy."

The dental school features a 7,000 square-foot Learning Resource Center to provide print and electronic resources for every academic program, 23 Problem-Based Learning (PBL) small group classrooms, and a 55 station simulation lab on the first floor. Two lecture halls, each seating more than 250 students, are located on the second floor. Each lecture hall will feature the latest in smart classroom technology and the entire building will have a wireless computer networks. Administration and faculty offices also occupy the second floor.

The clinic utilizes 40,000 square-feet (20,000 square-feet on each floor). This 115-chair dental patient clinic is equipped with the latest technology that helps maximize learning opportunities for students under the guidance of faculty members. The dental clinic will be staffed by faculty and students who will be able to treat up to 600 patients per day, providing dental health care for many people who are currently unable to receive dental care.

A rendering of the LECOM School of Dental Medicine, scheduled to open in July 2012.

Using the state-of-the-art simulation equipment, students will have the opportunity to achieve a level of knowledge and skill that prepares them for actual patient care delivery.

Innovation will take place in the classroom through the PBL curriculum, an approach that challenges students to learn though patient cases that provide the context for acquiring knowledge and understanding basic medical science. Dental students will begin their PBL study alongside medical students.

Award-winning architects Fawley Bryant have been charged with the building’s design. Fawley Bryant has designed projects such as: Energy Court Center in Sarasota and the City Centre Complex in downtown Bradenton.

Construction of the school will be handled by Willis A. Smith Construction Company. Willis A. Smith Construction Company has built the Ringling College of Art & Design Student Center, the State College of Florida Graphic Technology Arts Building and the Florida State University Ringling Museum of Art Asolo Visitors Service Center.

The inaugural class of the LECOM School of Dental Medicine will have 100 first-year students. Within four years, the school will enroll 400 students.

LECOM is investing $52 million to bring the dental school to Manatee County. This includes the construction of the building and the highly technical, state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories required to properly prepare the next generation of dentists.

The school will employ nearly 200 individuals, including faculty, administrators and dental hygienists, and technical, administrative and other support staff. The direct economic impact of institutional, employee and student spending is expected to reach $14 million in the Bradenton area and as much as $35 million through direct and indirect spending statewide.


The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, LECOM School of Dental Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.


June 3, 2011
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