Palm Beach State College will build its new Dental and Medical Services Technology building on its Loxahatchee Groves campus and relocate its long-standing dental health education programs to the 75-acre site.
College leaders had contemplated building the facility on the Lake Worth campus, where the existing 55-year-old structure is located. However, the District Board of Trustees reached the unanimous decision after a recommendation from the college administration.
“We’re excited about adding the dental building to the Loxahatchee Groves campus,’’ trustee Wendy Link said. “It is in one of the fastest growing areas of the county, and this facility will complement the planned health sciences and technology focus of the campus.”
In June, the Florida Legislature allocated $5 million for the new facility that will allow PBSC to incorporate current and future technology required for the core components of the Dental Hygiene Associate in Science degree and the Dental Assisting postsecondary adult vocational certificate programs.
The programs, both established in 1964, are the only such programs in Palm Beach County accredited by the American Dental Association. The $5 million allows the college to begin the planning, but it’s far from the nearly $22 million PBSC sought from the Florida Legislature to complete the project. College leaders will pursue additional funds next year and seek support from the community.
“The western communities’ dentists wholeheartedly support this move,” said Dr. Randall Shults, a Wellington orthodontist. “There is a shortage of dental assistants in the western communities, and we perceive this move as great for the programs.”
Pictured above: Dr. Maria Vallejo, provost of Palm Beach State College’s Loxahatchee Groves campus.