ECU Breaks Ground On Third Dental Center

The ECU School of Dental Medicine broke ground on a dental center this week in Jackson County.

State legislators and officials from East Carolina University, Jackson County, Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College gathered Monday in Sylva to break ground for an ECU School of Dental Medicine Community Service Learning Center.

The $3 million, 7,700-square-foot center will be built in the Jackson County services complex and is expected to be completed next summer.

“ECU is thrilled to partner in the health care mission of Jackson County and the region,” said Dr. Phyllis Horns, ECU vice chancellor for health sciences. “We are proud to lead initiatives for improved dental and other health services for residents of this region and across the state.”

The dental center in Sylva, a town of approximately 2,600 in the Plott Balsam Mountains, is the third to be built of the 10 centers ECU is planning for the state. The first center opened in Ahoskie in June, and the second will open in Elizabeth City in January. Each center contains 16 dental chairs and state-of-the-art general dentistry facilities.

The School of Dental Medicine intends to place fourth-year dental students in rotations in community service learning centers throughout the state. The school admitted its first 52 students in August 2011. A second class of 52 students entered this August. All students are North Carolina residents, representing 50 counties.