ITHACA, N.Y. — Gov. George Pataki announced last month plans to grant Cornell University's veterinary college $50 million for state-of-the-art
renovation and consolidation of the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC).
AHDC, located at the college's Veterinary Education Center, is a land-grant facility that conducts more than a million diagnostic
tests annually on animals with diseases or other conditions. Cornell runs the lab in partnership with the New York State Department
of Agriculture and Markets.
The overhaul will cost a projected $80 million, with Cornell footing $24 million and seek funds for the remaining balance
from private and government donors.
Pending municipal approvals, the capital funding will be used to build a new 100,000-square-foot center, scheduled for groundbreaking
in 2008. Upgrades for the lab's outdated biocontainment facilities to safety level 3 will enable Cornell researchers to work
with highly contagious agents such as West Nile virus, anthrax and E. coli. The new laboratories will provide research and
testing services to protect New York's food animals against such foreign animal diseases such as avian flu, foot-and-mouth
disease, Exotic Newcastle disease and swine flu. Ongoing testing and research for bovine spongiform encephalopathy and chronic
wasting disease will continue, officials say.