$17 million project reshapes UMSL’s south campus
The University of Missouri¬-St. Louis has unveiled its College of Optometry’s new $17 million Patient Care Center on the South Campus. Designed by HOK, the two-story, 48,000-sq.-ft. building provides a space for clinical education and research for the college as well as comprehensive eye and vision care for the community.
“It’s so good to see this longtime dream of the College of Optometry’s finally complete,” said Larry Davis, dean of the college.
The Patient Care Center replaces the University Eye Center located in UMSL’s Marillac Hall, a building originally designed as a residence hall for nuns. The new facility is located along Natural Bridge Road, adjacent to the UMSL South MetroLink station. It has four service areas for adult eye care, pediatric eye care, contact lens eye care and primary healthcare. The two-story atrium with a signature “eye” window acts as a focal point of the building.
“Beyond its striking architecture and beauty, the Patient Care Center has greatly improved the operations of the eye care center,” said Davis. “In the short time we’ve occupied the building, we’ve recognized how the floor plan encourages collaboration among faculty across a variety of specialty areas. Patients will appreciate the logical, efficient flow as they move throughout the facility.”
“To accommodate UMSL’s patient care, educational and outreach needs, we designed the building to be highly flexible,” said Paul Whitson, AIA, senior vice president and regional leader of Healthcare at HOK in St. Louis. “Same-handed and equally sized treatment rooms will enable it to adapt to future changes within the healthcare industry.”
Approximately 13,000-square feet of space in the Patient Care Center is programmed for future community partnership opportunities, which might include an urgent care or dental clinic.
Funding for the center came partially from a supplemental fee assessed to optometry students. Additional funds came from internal reallocations within the college and campus reserves.
The improvements to the College of Optometry are the first phase of planned capital improvements on UMSL’s campus. Future construction phases could include the addition of a 200,000-sq.-ft. facility to co-locate all teaching, research and administrative functions for the College of Optometry.
The grand opening for the building will take place Nov. 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. The ceremony will include a ribbon cutting and short program.
HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 23 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence consistently ranks HOK as a leader in sustainable, high-performance design and technology innovation.