The push to get a new building for the School of Dentistry at Medical College of Georgia got a boost Friday with a $50,000 donation from the Georgia Dental Association.
"We're 100 percent behind our new dental school," said Association President Mike Rogers, an Augusta orthodontist. "And we realized the importance of a new school toward maintaining the excellent quality of education we have in Georgia."
But the campaign to raise $30 million of the $108 million that the new building is projected to cost is just getting off the ground, with about $1 million pledged so far, said Dean Connie L. Drisko. The school is asking the Legislature next year for $5 million to begin the process of planning and developing the site and hiring architects, Dr. Drisko said. The school has had numerous assessments of the existing building, which dates back to 1970, and it would cost up to 25 percent more to renovate and retrofit it to accommodate the new technology and future expanded class sizes, Dr. Drisko said.
"What we found out was it was really more cost effective to build a new building on a different location," she said.
The new building will be 30 percent to 50 percent larger, Dr. Drisko said.
MCG President Daniel W. Rahn thanked the group for its donation and its endorsement.
"It carries with it a tremendous amount of credibility and we know that we're going to be able to leverage this gift into other gifts," Dr. Rahn said. "We believe that everyone in the state of Georgia has a stake in oral health and in the preparation of oral health professionals for the future."
The dental association hopes its contribution will get things moving, said Dr. Rogers, who has pledged $50,000 himself.
"We hope that this today will spur some individual contributors to come forward and get the campaign going toward that," he said.
Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send donations for a new School of Dentistry building at Medical College of Georgia to: Dale Crail, director of development at Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry, AD1112 Augusta, GA 30912