New Duke Eye Center ready to open

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Opening day is within sight at the new Duke Eye Center in Durham.

The new four-story Hudson building adds 116,000-square feet to allow more than 15,000 additional patients to be seen a year.

The eye center has been a three-year, $45 million project.

“We’ve been working out of a facility which was built in 1970 for 12 clinicians. We now have over 50. So, this will allow us to provide better care, more efficiently in a more comfortable manner,” said Dr. Edward Buckley, chair of the Duke Department of Ophthalmology.

The facility is named for William Hudson, CEO of LC Industries.

Hudson is also chairman of the Duke Eye Center Advisory Board.

LC Industries is the largest employer in the U.S. of people who are blind. The company is the primary benefactor for the project.

Design elements from railings, down to the colors and contrasts of the floor have the eyesight of patients in mind.

“One of the consultants that was used when we were designing the building was an individual who had no vision. So, he was very helpful in helping us design spaces for individuals who either have low vision or no vision,” Buckley said.

New tools allow students to have a real-time look at what doctors see as they work with patients.

The new center is scheduled to open June 29.

After that, renovations to the old facility will begin.

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