The University of Missouri-St. Louis is reshaping its south campus with a new $17 million Patient Care Center for its Colleges of Optometry and Nursing. The new 48,000-square-foot facility is being designed by HOK and will enhance and expand the eye care services offered through the existing University Eye Center.
The facility will incorporate the latest technology needed to advance eye and vision research and recruit the most highly qualified faculty and students to the college. Scheduled to open in 2016, the facility includes space for campus and community partners to offer complementary health care services such as dental and primary care. UMSL has the only optometry program in Missouri and one of just 21 nationwide.
Located on a 7-acre landscaped site, the new two-story Patient Care Center will provide space for clinical education and research as well as comprehensive eye and vision care. About 13,000 square feet of space is being programmed for partnership opportunities such as a walk-in clinic and dental-care services. It will replace the existing University Eye Center located since 1980 at Marillac Hall, which was originally designed as a residence hall for nuns.
Funding for the new center came in part from a supplemental fee that will be assessed to optometry students. It is also funded by internal reallocations within the college and campus reserves.
The improvements to the College of Optometry are the first phase of planned capital improvements for the UMSL campus. Future phases of construction will include an additional 200,000 square feet to colocate all teaching and learning, research and administrative functions for the Colleges of Nursing and Optometry.