Dentistry in the Future of Education and Health Care in Saskatchewan

Health Sciences Atrium

Health Sciences E Wing Atrium Connects to Dentistry

The Health Sciences Project at the University of Saskatchewan is more than an architectural feat. It is a significant investment by the Province and important partners to fulfill a new interprofessional vision for the future of education and health care in Saskatchewan.

The building is designed to support and enable collaboration between students, faculty and researchers in all health science disciplines. While this modern, collaborative facility will be spectacular, within its walls researchers and students will be able to examine health issues from every angle to improve health outcomes for the people of Saskatchewan and beyond.

Students, faculty, staff and researchers from all health science disciplines will reap the benefits of the talented health care personnel and educators drawn to the facility to provide top-notch training.

The Health Sciences facility is made up of five wings: the A Wing, B Wing, C Wing, D Wing and E Wing.

Health Sciences East Wing

Health Sciences E Wing - Wiggins Corner

The E Wing sits prominently between the Dentistry Building and College Drive. A unique blend of old and new architecture, it is comprised of a three-storey modern arm, and a four-storey gothic arm designed with the traditional campus architecture. It houses a new three-storey Leslie and Irene Dube Health Sciences Library; a 500-seat and a 125-seat lecture theatre; a Clinical Learning Resource Centre; food services; an underground parkade, and more. These state-of-the art facilities are available to all health science students and professionals.

Although the Dentistry Building will remain intact, it will benefit from the atriums, wide cascading staircases and expansive landings designed to allow academic collisions and break down barriers to academic and health science collaboration. A notable example is E Wing’s stunning Atrium that connects to the Dentistry Building. In addition, E Wing’s atrium was designed to allow a fourth floor to be added to dentistry in the future.

“Although the Dentistry Building will remain intact,
it will benefit from the atriums, wide cascading
staircases and expansive landings designed to allow
“academic collisions” and break down barriers
to academic and health science collaboration.”

Health Sciences D Wing

Health Sciences E Wing - College Drive

Closer and more integrated learning and work spaces will provide natural opportunity for joint research ideas to emerge between all health science disciplines. Council of Health Science Director of Operations Brad Steeves explains: “A casual conversation may reveal that northern populations with poor oral health require treatment from both dental and medical health professionals, and there may be researchers in separate disciplines already working on different angles of the same problem.” In this example, the College of Dentistry’s northern Outreach Clinics may better service vulnerable populations by partnering with the College of Nursing.

Steeves also says that such collisions will result in a “better understanding of respective roles in the delivery of health care services and the opportunity to share space and work together on provincial health strategies and policies.”

Health Sciences Atrium

Health Sciences D Wing - Campus Drive

The new D Wing is an L-shaped addition that wraps around the B Wing, with four-storeys on the east and six storeys on the north sides. It complements the university’s collegiate gothic style. Sometimes referred to as the “Biomedical Wing”, it will primarily house biomedical researchers from medicine, pharmacy and nutrition, and the Saskatoon Cancer Centre, as well as faculty from other colleges, and is designed with spacious research laboratories to encourage engagement form all health disciplines.

The intent of the research building is to use the diverse expertise within to address collective health issues and provincial health research needs. As such, an opportunity exists for dental clinicians and faculty to partner with other health science researchers on shared research interests in D Wing’s research laboratories. In doing so, the College of Dentistry will grow its own research capacity.

“As such, an opportunity exists for dental clinicians and
faculty to partner with other health science researchers
on shared research interests in D Wing’s research laboratories.
In doing so, the College of Dentistry will grow
its own research capacity.”

Multi-disciplinary research projects are also expected to receive more funding than individual research projects in the future. While describing interior plans requiring spacious learning areas, Flad and Associate architect Mark Corey repeatedly noted that collaboration “is where the money is.” Flad and Associates is a large architecture and engineering firm from the United States with over 79 years of experience specializing in “designing innovative facilities for academia, health care, science and technology.” The firm leads the project with assistance from Friggstad Downing Henry Architects of Saskatoon.

Renovations to the A Wing, the original Health Sciences Building built in 1948, will primarily result in administrative space. The A Wing will house all the health science deans and their support staff. In addition, the administrative offices for the Colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Nutrition, and Physical Therapy will be relocated there. Consideration is also being given to the inclusion of a Health Sciences Advancement Office and student space.

The original Health Sciences Building was expanded to include the B and C Wings in the 1970s and 1980s respectively. New and renovated classrooms in the B Wing will be used to support programming for health science students, including first and second year dental students.

Finally, renovations to the C Wing will focus on creating student-centered space, which may entail student society offices, meeting areas and lockers for all health science students. Currently, student activity is isolated and occurs ad hoc and sporadically.

To date, much of the project’s attention has been on planning and designing the Health Sciences building. However, project success will ultimately require a shift of focus from the exterior to the interior of the building.

“The project is more about change and management of change,” says Steeves. “We need to change the way we do things inside. People expect that research will increase immediately. But, the building doesn’t do the research, people do.”

The expected completion date for the Health Sciences project is 2017.

Upon completion, the new infrastructure will provide an additional 45,500 square metres of much needed space – 18,600 square metres in the D Wing and 26,900 in the E Wing. The project will cost in excess of $350 million. To find out more, please visit www.usask.ca/healthsciences.

Health Science Project Timeline

Building Timeline
D Wing New Construction 2008 - 2012
E Wing New Construction 2009 – To be completed fall of 2013
A/B/C Wings Renovation 2013 - 2017

By Debora Senger
Alumni and Stewardship Officer
College of Dentistry