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Pieces of Eight

ECU officials who broke ground for the new dental school are Keri Brockett (ECU Board of Trustees), Margaret C. Ward (ECU Board of Trustees), Joel K. Butler (ECU Board of Trustees), Bruce N. Austin Jr. (ECU Board of Trustees), Phillip R. Dixon (UNC Board of Governors), Robert G. Brinkley Jr. (ECU Board of Trustees), Chancellor Steve Ballard, Mark E. Tipton (ECU Board of Trustees), and Carol M. Mabe (ECU Board of Trustees). (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Officials Break Ground for Dental School

By Doug Boyd

Local, state and university leaders didn’t let a rainy day dampen their enthusiasm as they broke ground Feb. 22 for the new East Carolina University School of Dentistry.

The 112,500-square-foot building will go up near the ECU Health Sciences Building.

Officials expect the new school to help ease the statewide shortage of dentists, especially in eastern North Carolina. Four eastern counties – Gates, Tyrrell, Hyde and Camden – have no dentists. The new school will aim to educate dentists who are North Carolina residents and who want to stay in the state to practice, particularly in rural areas.

“We know how to make a difference for those populations that have not been served well enough,” ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said to the crowd of more than 100 gathered for the event.

If all goes well, the first class of 50 dental students will enroll in 2011, said Dr. Gregory Chadwick, interim dean of the school.

The General Assembly appropriated $28 million for the $90 million project last year, and ECU hopes to receive the remaining $62 million this year, Chadwick said.

This page originally appeared in the Feb. 29, 2008 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at