Monday, April 13, 2015


By Phil Sahm, University of Utah Health Sciences Public Affairs

A modest program begun 35 years ago to help aspiring Utah students become dentists came full circle on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, with the grand opening of the new home of the University of Utah School of Dentistry — the Ray and Tye Noorda Oral Health Sciences Building.

Named for two Utah philanthropists whose kindness and vision were critical to the project’s success, the $36 million, 85,000-square-foot Research Park building provides advanced facilities for dentistry students, patients and faculty:
  • 62 dental operatories
  • Pediatric dentistry suite
  • Oral surgery suite
  • 100-seat auditorium
  • Three 50-seat tiered classrooms
  • Two 52-seat laboratories
  • Offices for faculty and staff
  • Expansive reception area
The School of Dentistry opened in 2013, joining the professional schools of pharmacy, nursing, health and medicine to complete the University’s offering of every aspect of a health sciences education. Opening the new building isn’t the end of the journey but rather the start of a new phase to train outstanding dentists, foster important research and work with the state’s diverse populations and dentists as a partner to ensure good oral health, according to Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., senior vice president for health sciences.

The SOD also will serve as a resource for Utah dentists in ways ranging from providing meeting space to assisting in continuing education.

The grand opening celebration took place on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, with the ribbon cutting, reception and open house. Building tours were also offered. The Ray and Tye Noorda Oral Health Sciences Building is located at 530 S. Wakara Way in Research Park adjacent to the University of Utah.

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