UGA will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. to dedicate the College of Veterinary Medicine’s new Veterinary Medical Center, which includes an education building and a state-of-the-art teaching hospital for large and small animals.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony. Parking will be available in the Carlton Street parking deck with shuttles leaving from the front of the veterinary college throughout the afternoon, as parking at the event site will be limited.
Scheduled speakers for the event include Gov. Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby, UGA President Jere Morehead, Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn), Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Sheila Allen, Hospital Director Gary Baxter and second-year veterinary student Robert Cotton.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be followed by a brief reception and self-guided tours of the new UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Veterinary Education Center, both of which will open in late March.
Located at 2200 College Station Road, construction began on the center in spring 2013 thanks to generous support from the state and private funding. The new facilities, which encompass roughly 300,000 square feet, will enable the college to better meet its students’ educational needs and its current patient care demands.
“The students, faculty and staff of the College of Veterinary Medicine are grateful to the Georgia taxpayers and our donors for their support of this project,” Allen said. “The future of veterinary education in Georgia will be well-served through this facility for many years to come.”
The current teaching hospital, built in 1979, handles more than 24,500 visits annually in one of the smallest teaching hospitals in the U.S. In late March, all hospital operations will move to the new site, along with all clinical faculty, hospital staff, clinical support services and third- and fourth-year students. The Veterinary Medical Center officially opens March 25.
First- and second-year students will remain on the main college campus along with the majority of the college’s basic science departments and administrative offices. The UGA Community Practice Clinic, which serves as a wellness clinic for companion animals in the greater Athens area, also will remain in its current location on campus. The vacated hospital building will be repurposed for much-needed research space and to support first- and second-year instruction.
The Veterinary Medical Center was designed by Perkins+Will and built by Turner Construction Co. Features include a flexible design to meet current needs and to allow for future expansion, a 160-seat auditorium, an 80-seat technology-enabled active learning classroom, two smaller classrooms for teaching students and an enhanced large and small animal hospital outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment and improved functionality.