Friday, May 7, 2004, two Percheron draft horses pulling an antique plow broke ground for the Veterinary Medicine Instructional Facilty while campus officials, veterinary students and special guests urged on the team.
Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef presented welcoming remarks and noted, "This ceremony represents an important benchmark in our shared efforts to expand and modernize the School of Veterinary Medicine's physical plant." He acknowledged the determination of university planners as well as donors, saying, "It took a real team effort to make this day possible."
"This building will be the instructional heart of the School of Veterinary Medicine," said Bennie Osburn, dean, "and a hub for student activities." The dean also announced that the Veterinary Medicine Instructional Facility classroom complex has been officially named Gladys Valley Hall. The name honors the family and foundation came to the aid of the school when its facilities crisis was first announced in 1998. The donation of $10.7 million remains the largest private gift received by the school.
This two-story, 55,000 square foot facility will consolidate instructional programs in one location adjacent to new laboratory classrooms in Veterinary Medicine 3A and the clinical teaching program in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Features include four auditoriums, a computer classroom for the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) program, seminar rooms, and private and group study areas.
Rick Watson, DVM, of VCA Antech, which contributed to name the two largest auditoriums on the main floor of the building, told students that the corporate veterinary practice was pleased to support higher education. "We've caught the vision," he said. "We're anticipating wonderful things here."
The president of the Student Chapter of the Veterinary Medical Association, Michele Hoag, class of 2005, described her experience on the facilities planning committee and her appreciation that planners solicited student input. "The new building will enhance the education of veterinary students for years to come," she said.
The building will also house an alumni conference center; specialized teaching areas for diagnostic imaging, clinical pathology and hospital practices; and office and work space for student organizations and the Pet Loss Support Hotline. Other special spaces include a central student commons, homerooms for students in the first three years of the DVM program, and an alumni gallery.
The Veterinary Medicine Instructional Facility will provide a contemporary professional environment for DVM and MPVM students that meets their learning needs and serves as a home base for lifelong learning. The building will be used by students, alumni, and practitioners for large-scale lectures, classroom discussions, computer-based study sessions, student volunteer activities, alumni gatherings, and continuing education conferences.
Construction is being supported by a combination of public and private resources. Campus and university funds will provide $24.5 million for the basic classroom structure.
Michael Floyd, DVM, a 1961 graduate of the school, spoke about his commitment to "giving back" to the institution that prepared him for a successful veterinary career. Floyd is a lead donor and the co-chair of the alumni fund-raising committee. An additional $2.5 million in gift funds raised by this group will increase the size of the structure by 12%, providing additional space for student clubs and volunteer activities as well as facility-wide upgrades that will enhance teaching and the quality of the student experience.
The building's design, construction and materials will meet the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Construction is expected to be completed in 2005. (Editor's note: As of March 2005, school officials estimate completion to occur in late 2006.)
The Veterinary Medicine Instructional Facility is a key component of a $354 million long-range facilities plan to restore full accreditation status and prepare the school for anticipated growth in class size and faculty.
Office of Development