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BALTIMORE, MD-The University of Maryland at Baltimore’s new $124 million Baltimore College of Dental Surgery gets underway with a groundbreaking ceremony for what will be a 360,000-sf structure. The facility is scheduled for completion in 2005. It will replace the current dental school building Hayden-Harris Hall, which is nearly 40 years old, and unable to accommodate the college’s modern educational needs and the 25,000-plus patients coming through annually.

According to the university, the 10-story, brick, limestone and glass structure will be the first new dental educational facility built in the US within the last quarter century. The new school will be constructed across from the old building on Baltimore Street. Designed by Philadelphia, PA-based architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson the facility will also feature a 300-space underground-parking garage, which will be completed next year, and a mechanical penthouse.

While the new structure will actually be slightly smaller in size than the old building, it is designed to make more efficient use of space. Approximately 77% of the building will be allotted for classrooms, laboratories, academic support rooms, and clinical areas, while the remaining space will be used for research purposes.

The state has committed over $103 million to the development project, and the college has established a building campaign aimed at raising $20 million in funding. For Maryland, the dental college holds a special significance, as it was the first dental school chartered by the US General Assembly. Created in 1840, the school is also believed to have the distinction of being the first dental college in the world.

“As one of the largest providers of oral health care in Maryland, we also celebrate what this new dental school will mean to the community,” Gov. Parris N. Glendening said at the groundbreaking. “Each year more than 25,000 people are served here as patients and it is the largest provider of oral health care to HIV-infected Marylanders and Medicaid-eligible children. This connection to the community is one of the great strengths of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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