The University of South Dakota’s new School of Health Sciences building is set to open to the public on Sept. 8 with a grand opening and ribbon cutting.
Eight of USD’s fastest-growing majors will take space in the school, including the majors of dental hygiene, nursing, social work, addiction counseling and prevention, medical laboratory science, physician assistant studies, public health and health sciences.
Housing these programs together allows students to collaborate in the type of real-life environments they will encounter in modern hospitals and clinics across South Dakota. The new School of Health Sciences building also provides more opportunities for health sciences and medical students to work together.
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USD President Sheila Gestring said the new facility will help USD increase enrollment and produce health care professionals to work in many of South Dakota’s high-need areas. In the past, USD has had to turn qualified applicants away because the facilities couldn’t accommodate larger class sizes, Gestring said in a news release.
“This state-of-the-art building will be the catalyst for health sciences students as they learn and develop into the next generation of health care professionals,” Gestring said in a release, thanking the support of the legislature, Board of Regents, Delta Dental and more for the building.
Work started on the 45,000 square-foot building in April 2021. The facility houses the Delta Dental Oral Health Center on the first floor, which was named in honor of a $1 million gift from the Delta Dental of South Dakota Foundation.
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The building also houses technology-enhanced active learning classrooms, health sciences laboratories, simulation rooms, student collaboration and study space, and shared faculty and staff workplace.
With nine health education-focused departments, 22 programs, two dental hygiene clinics and two significant public service centers, the School of Health Sciences is the largest and most comprehensive source of teaching and clinical preparation of health care in South Dakota.
The ribbon cutting is set for 11 a.m., Thursday outside in the south courtyard between the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science and the School of Health Sciences buildings, and will be livestreamed on USD’s Facebook page.