Budge Dental Clinic gets $15 million upgrade, expansion
March 31, 2011
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony held March 25 officially opened the doors of the newly renovated and expanded Budge Dental Clinic.
"This project was five years in the planning," said Col. Craig Willard, commander of the Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity. "I'm told this is now the sixth largest dental clinic in the Army dental inventory."
The clinic was initially opened in 1982 at a cost of $2,000,000. The expansion and renovation project was a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission's recommendations, cost more than $15,000,000 to complete and enlarged the clinic by 5,000 square foot to a total size of 21,000 square feet.
"The enlargement will support the population spike to Fort Sam Houston as a result of the BRAC," Willard said.
Willard said by 2013, the Budge clinic will be supporting units with populations totaling nearly 16,000 service members. Many of these beneficiaries will be the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who will graduate each year from the Medical Education and Training Campus.
The new clinic is now a modern facility with 44 dental treatment rooms, furnished with state-of-the-art dental equipment. The original clinic had 24 treatment rooms before the expansion.
In addition to general dentistry, the clinic will provide prosthodontic, endodontic and comprehensive dentistry specialty care.
"This facility provides the means for the Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity to provide state-of-the-art dental treatment with efficient dental care optimization to the fine military personnel at this joint post," Willard said.
The Budge Dental Clinic was named after Brig. Gen. Claire Budge, who entered the Army in 1938 after earning a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Oregon University School of Dentistry.
Budge served as chief of numerous dental services in the United States and overseas. He served in World War II, the China-Burma-India Theater where he was responsible for designing the Chinese Army's field dental kit, and when supplies from the states were unavailable he improvised using substitutes from local materials.
Budge also organized airborne dental teams to take care of American servicemen located in isolated areas. In January 1966, Budge's finished his career at Brooke Army Medical Center as director of the dental activities.
"This complex will allow our dental activity to fulfill the dental command philosophy, which is to provide warrior-focused oral health care with an exceptional team of professionals dedicated to excellence and unified service," Willard said.