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THE LAWRENCE J. AND ANNE Cable Rubenstein Building—home of the University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine—is about to undergo a transformation.

Construction, scheduled to begin in early 2018, will add 48,000 square feet to the building, bringing the space to 144,000 square feet, without substantially expanding its footprint. Improvements include a spacious, light-filled patient entrance at East Newton and Albany Streets and patient-designated elevators. Clinical and other treatment space will increase by 60 percent, and classrooms and labs will gain 40 percent more area, in part through the addition of an auditorium and a Simulation Learning Center. Students and residents will have their own lounge and collaborative study area on the first floor.

“This is something we have looked forward to for years,” says Jeffrey W. Hutter, dean of SDM. “We are fortunate and grateful for the support we’ve had so far—but we still have a long way to go in our fundraising effort.”

Hutter notes that broad-based support for the project first became evident in the context of a larger SDM strategic planning effort, which identified a dramatically improved facility as a critical driver of school success.

“The momentum for this project has grown strong in recent years,” says Hutter, “with our alumni all over the world sharing their ideas. But they’ve done much, much more. Many of them have thrown their financial support behind it.” An anonymous donor has made a $1 million contribution—the first at this level for the school. “It’s a transformational gift,” Hutter says, “and it encourages us to set our sights even higher.” Many others have come forward to name patient treatment rooms in the dental school’s new Predoctoral Patient Treatment Center.

By almost any measure, the existing building has constrained what the SDM community—more than 800 students, 300 faculty, and staff and volunteers—could undertake. Hutter says the expansion will “right size” the school, creating space to accommodate its strategic objectives. He says the new facility will also serve as a symbol of the school’s enhanced global reputation and stature. The building will support SDM’s standard-setting initiatives, notably, the adoption of the Group Practice Model for clinical patient care and the commitment to teaching digital dentistry.

SDM’s initial fundraising effort has focused on supporting the creation of 100 new patient treatment rooms, each with state-of-the-art technology. All are urgently needed, says Kevin Holland, assistant dean for development and alumni relations. The school treats more than 33,000 patients each year, with nearly 150,000 visits. Third- and fourth-year students spend almost all of their time in these treatment spaces. To help support the new rooms, donors who give $25,000 or more can name a room.

Mitchell Sabbagh (SDM’87), who has supported a treatment room, says his gift is intended to honor his education, but “it’s also an expression of my support for the next generation of dentists.”

Tim Auger (SDM’91) and Meghan Auger (SDM’91) say their gift symbolizes their gratitude for their educations, their support for the school’s future, and their appreciation of the preparation their daughter, Tarhyn Auger (SDM’20), receives at the school. “We think it’s important for people to give back,” says Meghan Auger.