Philadelphia — Penn Dental Medicine formally marked the start of its Evans Building Centennial Renaissance project with a ceremonial groundbreaking on November 4. Taking part in the groundbreaking celebration was Penn President Amy Gutmann, Dean Denis Kinane, the School’s Board of Overseers, and the Penn Dental Medicine community of faculty, staff, and students.
“There’s so much history here in the Thomas Evans Building—and so much future. Today, we’re here to celebrate that future. We’re transforming a historic century-old building into the most advanced dental education, science, and practice environment in the country. It’s an honor to be here with the great friends of Penn Dental Medicine who are partnering with us to make that happen,” said President Gutmann at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The ceremony took place in the lower concourse of the Evans Building, an area that is part of the first phase of the $34 million Evans Building Centennial Renaissance renovation project. This renovation will transform the landmark Evans Building throughout, while maintaining the original architectural character of this historic structure. The Evans Building, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, remains the hub of Penn Dental Medicine clinical instruction and patient care.
“Our mission is to update this historic building so that it will support the highest-quality dental education for which Penn Dental has always been known and respected,” says Dean Kinane.
The project will impact all four levels of the Evans Building with key components being the creation of a new Preclinical Lab and CE Training Center on the lower concourse; a new clinic (the Edward & Shirley Shils Clinic) on the first floor; and a reimagined library on the second and third floors.
The first phase of construction now underway involves the lower concourse, which will be fully devoted to student activities and student support. In addition to the new Preclinical Lab and CE Training Center, this level will house the offices of Student and Academic Affairs, classrooms, seminar rooms, an advanced simulation laboratory (the Measey Haptic Technology Center at Penn Dental Medicine), a student lounge, and the 90-seat William W. M. Cheung Auditorium. This first phase of renovation will extend through April 2016 and will also see the start of the new Library on the second and third floors.
The final phase of the project will address the first floor of Evans, which along with the new clinic will include new executive offices. Construction is scheduled for completion by early 2017.
The ceremonial groundbreaking was followed by an all-school celebration in the atrium of the School’s Robert Schattner Center.