The new UMSL Patient Care Center is expected to open at the start of the fall semester. (Photos by August Jennewein)

The new UMSL Patient Care Center is expected to open at the start of the fall semester. (Photos by August Jennewein)

If you’ve driven by the University of Missouri–St. Louis campus lately, it’s hard to miss the new UMSL Patient Care Center going up next to Natural Bridge Road.

“The community has been asking for this for a long time,” says College of Optometry Dean Larry Davis. “We want to be sure we care for our community. If we build it, they will come.”

The metal frame from the fall is now covered in red brick and sleek mirrored windows. But what’s happening on the inside? Davis gave UMSL Daily a sneak peek inside the center’s development.

Scroll below for an inside view.

patient_care_center_entrance-818Step through the front doors into this welcome area, which features a circular window casting the sunlight in colorful rays and a signature decorative wall that will have the slits lit up with LED lights. At the far end, a play area will keep children entertained while they wait for their appointment.

patient_care_center_mock_room-818Davis points out the overhead, high-intensity LED lighting incorporated into the design of this mock exam room.

“This solves the problems we have with those pesky, ugly, always-broken, never-illuminating lamps that are attached to the exam equipment,” he says, noting that the lamp currently there will be done away with entirely.

All exam rooms have been standardized and are 10 feet by 14 feet as compared to the exams rooms that vary and are at most 8 feet by 10 feet in College of Optometry’s current patient care facility.

patient_care_center_hall-818This hallway reveals how long and large the interior of the new UMSL Patient Care Center feels.

“It looks deceptively small from the outside,” Davis says. “But really it’s quite a bit of space on the inside. We have 32 eye lanes and 10 primary care lanes.”

The current patient care facility sees about 3,000 visits a year. Davis says he expects a 50-percent increase in that with the new center.

patient_care_center_learning-818Preparation for the iced-glass partitions is underway in the learning center section of the Patient Care Center designed to assist students in their optometry training. The different “portals” of the center are color coded in shades of blue, a tentative color scheme for the building.

patient_care_center_blueprint-818Davis points to the learning center in the building plans, the larger aisle-area cutting through the middle of the building.

patient_care_center_research_lab-818The drywall of a large research room with windows facing Natural Bridge Road gets sanded. It will have an accordion door to create a flexible space.

patient_care_center_parking-818The second-floor staff break room features a fond view of Marillac Hall, which will still house the academic side of the College of Optometry. The parking lot below will provide 210 parking spaces for patients, staff, faculty and students who visit and work in the UMSL Patient Care Center. And for those who take the MetroLink, a sidewalk will lead right to the center’s front door from the UMSL South MetroLink station.
The UMSL Experience

Marisol Ramirez

Marisol Ramirez