Auburn gets green light for teaching hospital expansion


Auburn gets green light for teaching hospital expansion

Apr 01, 2010

Auburn University, Ala.— Auburn University's veterinary college is close to finalizing plans to build a new veterinary teaching hospital at its Auburn, Ala., campus to replace the McAdory Large Animal and Hoerlein Small Animal clinics.

"We've kind of added on as much as we can," explains Dr. William Brawner, a clinical sciences professor at the college and chair of the small-animal teaching hospital building committee. "The need is simply that we're growing, and the demand for veterinary research is growing. We have both physically and programmatically outgrown the current hospital."

Growth in the county and local areas around the veterinary college have increased demand for hospital services, Brawner adds.

The veterinary college plans to increase its class sizes, too, by 20 to 30 students per year, which further justifies the expansion.

The hospital addition would be 158,000 square feet with a state-of-the art hospital, enclosed dog park and designated units for each type of hospital service that will include an exam room, treatment room and seminar room for student discussion. The hospital will include support services like diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, radiology, clinical pathology and critical care. Surgeons have designed a second floor wing with a central sterile court for all surgeries.

A $70 million budget has been set for the expansion and will also include renovations to classroom and lecture spaces at the Overton Auditorium and Rudd Student Center. Old lecture theater-style halls will be replaced with more conference-style rooms to accommodate students using computers in the classroom. Two new large-animal barns and some research laboratories for the small- animal and clinical pharmacy programs will be included in the project.

Construction could start at the earliest in August 2010 for the first phase of the project, which includes classroom and research facility renovations. Phase two, beginning about a year after the start of phase one, will include the main hospital construction and will take about two-and-a-half years to complete. The third and final phase will connect the new hospital to the old structure and include construction of the indoor dog park.

The Auburn University Board of Trustees approved the project's budget in early February, which will allow the veterinary college to get final drawings done and put the project out for bids. The expansion will be funded through a combination of bonds, private gifts, increases in student fees and contributions from the states of Alabama and Kentucky, according to the college.