The Diagnostic Medicine Center at the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Complex will begin construction with a groundbreaking ceremony set for Friday, Dec. 7, at 9 a.m. The new facility, located directly north of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, will be home to the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the Clinical Pathology Laboratory, the Animal Population Health Institute and the Colorado State University Extension veterinarian.
“When I arrived at the University six years ago to serve as dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, planning for this new facility was already underway,” said Dr. Lance Perryman. “The critical need for improved facilities was recognized for more than 15 years, but putting the financing in place was proving to be a difficult obstacle to overcome. When the State Legislature approved a portion of the needed funds in the last legislative session, we were given the green light to move ahead with the project.”
The 90,000-square-feet Diagnostic Medicine Center, slated for completion in 2009 at a final estimated cost of $42 million, will house laboratories, offices and support space.
The Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, including offices in Rocky Ford and Grand Junction, provides timely, accurate and pertinent animal disease diagnostic services and educational outreach to veterinarians, animal industries and animal interests. As part of the University and College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the Diagnostic Laboratory also strives to contribute to research through the development of new approaches to disease identification, investigation, prevention, and to contribute to the education of professional veterinary medical, graduate, undergraduate, and post-doctoral students.
In addition, the Diagnostic Laboratory provides national service as a member of the National Animal Health Network NAHLN. The NAHLN is a federal-state partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD). The mission of the NAHLN is early detection, response and recovery in case of foreign animal or emerging disease outbreaks.
“Local, state and national needs have increased the caseload at the Diagnostic Laboratory substantially,” said Dr. Perryman. “The new Diagnostic Medicine Center is critical to maintaining quality in all the work that the laboratory conducts, as well as allowing faculty, staff and students to innovate in ways that will improve veterinary diagnostic medicine.”
In addition, noted Dr. Perryman, upgrading and expanding the laboratory’s facilities is essential to maintaining AAVLD accreditation, which is evaluated by that association every five years.