Ƶ announces relocation plans for Tanner College of Dental Medicine

The University of Pikeville (Ƶ) is pleased to announce a new site to construct the Tanner College of Dental Medicine (TCDM). Plans for the new dental college’s location have changed from the previously announced Appalachian News Express building to an alternate location at the corner of Hambley Blvd., and Elm Street, immediately adjacent to the Health Professions Education Building.

This decision comes after careful consideration and expert recommendations from architects and engineers. It was determined that constructing a new building would be more feasible than attempting partial demolition and remodeling of the Appalachian News Express building. The main challenge involved several structural walls that would require substantial reinforcement to be altered safely.

“As we worked with the architects and engineers it became apparent that a change in site was needed,” said Ƶ President Burton Webb, Ph.D. “Thankfully, we have an ideal location just down the street.”

The relocation plan also addresses concerns about parking. The new TCDM building will occupy a portion of the parking lot across from Bears Tower, but it will be elevated to preserve as much parking space as possible underneath. Additionally, Ƶ is collaborating with the City of Pikeville and reviewing the campus master plan to find ways to increase parking availability on the upper campus.

Led by Dean Jill E. Keaton, DMD, MS, the college will focus on preparing graduates for dental practices in rural areas and directly treating patients who lack access to quality dental care. 

“The faculty and staff at the Tanner College of Dental Medicine are excited to be a part of the initiative to create a state-of-the-art dental clinic for the delivery of oral healthcare on the University of Pikeville campus,” said Keaton. “This new facility will include the latest digital equipment, simulation laboratory and cutting-edge technology to allow the highest level of patient care and opportunities to collaborate with the other Ƶ health profession programs in medicine and optometry.”

Ƶ will welcome the first cohort of predoctoral dental students in June 2026 and will begin accepting applications in the summer of 2025, pending initial accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation. For more information about the Ƶ College of Dental Medicine, email wewantyou@upike.edu or call 606-218-5250.