By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
Southern College of Optometry (SCO) has announced a $9.4 million plan to add a new building to its midtown campus. The project will be college’s most ambitious undertaking since The Eye Center, a state-of-the-art eye-care clinic that opened in 2002.
The new 23,016-square-foot facility will be located behind the 11-story college tower on an expansive concrete patio. The building will feature large spaces for classrooms and campus-wide meetings or special events, according to SCO’s website. The new facility and the old tower, built in 1970, will connect via a grand hall and an atrium. Various laboratories and teaching spaces will be relocated to the existing tower’s first floor to provide fluid access between classes.
Ground breaking is set for May 11, 2012, with an expected finishing date of August 2013. The tower’s design is signed by Formus Inc. of Memphis. Primary construction is to be done by Memphis-based Linkous Construction.
SCO plans to raise the $4 million of necessary funds through “Envision Our Progress”, a five-year, $4 million capital campaign; $1 million has already been secured through an advance phase of the campaign. The remaining $5.4 million will be provided by the SCO’s Board of Trustees through various investments and cost-saving measures over the fundraising campaign’s five year period.
Of the funds to be raised through “Envision Our Progress”, $500,000 will be directed towards student scholarships and an additional $500,000 will used to enhance patient care and clinical resources at The Eye Center.
Founded in 1932, Southern College of Optometry is one of only a few private schools in Memphis. SCO’s Eye Center offers optometric care services for 60,000 patients a year.
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Photo courtesy of Southern College of Optometry’s Facebook Page