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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Construction begins for new veterinary research building

The celebration has begun. On April 29, the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Veterinary Medicine Research Facility 3B commenced at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The purpose of the building will be to improve the health of animals, humans and the environment, focusing on a wide spectrum of related issues.

“The new building will bring the faculty into closer association with our teaching hospital and help facilitate our future research studies on clinical case material,” said Bennie Osburn, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine.

The four-story, 76,000 square foot research building will be located northeast of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

The building is one of seven other buildings of the first phase of a $354 million project by the veterinary school.

In 1998, the school was initially put on limited accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) due to the location of its instructional facilities and because Haring Hall had become outdated for contemporary research, Osburn said.

At the time, the core veterinary teaching programs were housed in Haring Hall and a collection of temporary buildings on central campus. Meanwhile, clinical services and other research facilities were located at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Tupper Hall, both of which are on the west side of campus.

The motivation to improve poor location and outdated facilities, as well as regain accreditation, bolstered and gave way to the $354 million campaign.

After the building is finished, 50 faculty members and their graduate students will be moving and reuniting with the rest of the faculty.

“Moving is a lot of work, but in this case, everyone welcomes the move. Haring Hall is obsolete and is in need of major renovations,” said Isaac Pessah, professor of the department of molecular biosciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine.

The $354 million project consists of two phases: Phase 1 is the construction of new facilities, including the Veterinary Medicine Research Facility 3B, and Phase 2 will focus on the needs of an updated veterinary hospital.

“The hospital we are in was originally constructed for 3,000 patients a year, and we actually have about 35,000 patients a year – we don’t have adequate facilities to address our caseload,” Osburn said.

The funding for the new Vet 3B building has come from the state and campus, as well as private donors. The state and campus will fund about $50.8 million to help construct the building. Approximately $12 million has come from private donors, with $7.7 million allotted for the building and $4.3 million to be spent on equipment and furnishing.

The new building will be completed and operational by December 2012.

“We will probably have some of the best facilities in the U.S. for conducting [veterinary] research,” Osburn said.

AMIR BEGOVIC can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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