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LECOM announces plans for dental school

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  • | 5:00 a.m. December 1, 2010
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine hopes to open Florida’s third dental school.

The college last month announced preliminary plans to construct a dental school adjacent to its Bradenton campus in Lakewood Ranch. The concept still must receive approval both from the Florida Department of Education and the Council on Dental Accreditation before the project can be realized.

“It’s going through the application process,” said Pierre Bellicini, director of communications and marketing for LECOM. “(Approvals) are pending right now.”

LECOM announced plans to open a dental school in Erie, Pa., with the help of a $1 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on Nov. 17. The college would invest between $37 million and $47 million for the facility, which would attract about 100 students annually. Construction would last up to 24 months, and student enrollment would begin in 2015, Bellicini said.

Bellicini said he could not say specifically where the dental school in Florida would be located, if approved, but noted LECOM owns property surrounding the existing LECOM Bradenton campus.

County property records show the medical school owns its current 17.79-acre parcel at 5000 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., where the medical and pharmacy school now sits, as well as a 34.9-acre site immediately north and west. The property, listed at 10605 Malachite Drive, fronts Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and has alternative addresses of 4110 Lake Erie Court and 10420 Ferretti Circle.

In October 2006, Manatee County commissioners approved a preliminary site plan for 288 multi-family units for that same 34-acre parcel. Property records show LECOM purchased the site from Freedom Bank for $2.9 million in March 2009.

Bellicini declined to comment about potential costs or other information about the potential Lakewood Ranch dental school location. However, he did say that most of the details for the Lakewood Ranch campus would be the same as plans for the Pennsylvania facility.

Both locations would use a community-based clinical plan, as well as a patient-case based educational program.

For more information about LECOM, visit

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].



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