Cornell secures grant for $22 million veterinary classroom expansion


Ithaca, N.Y. - Cornell University will begin a new $22 million renovation project this spring.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell University will begin a new $22 million renovation project this spring, thanks to a grant from New York State's Capital Improvement Program.

The $22 million grant was initially earmarked for renovations to the veterinary research tower, but the grant was not large enough to complete the renovations needed there, and administrators decided the funds would be better used for increasing the veterinary college's capacity.

The expansion will allow Cornell to increase its class size from the current 102 to about 120 students per year. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2012 and be completed by summer 2015.

"Expanding Cornell's class size is essential if Cornell is to maintain its academic impact on the profession," says Michael I. Kotlikoff, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. "Cornell's program is one of the most rigorous in the nation, but our graduates are increasingly a minority in the profession as Cornell currently has the smallest class size of schools ranked in the top tier. This initiative will increase access for New York state students, maximize the capacity of our outstanding teaching hospital, support a greater than $2 billion animal-health industry in New York, and enable much needed renovation of our main teaching facility that was built in 1957."

The expansion project is part of Cornell's master plan, completed in 2009. Phase one will create two larger-capacity lecture halls suitable for medical education and an atrium. The expanded spaces will enable Cornell to host demonstrations and public meetings that are secure from other hospital activities and encourage independent study, collaboration and professional networking, according to the college. Phase two will include renovations to anatomy and clinical skills teaching labs, locker rooms and tutorial rooms, and will repurpose existing space located in the middle of the veterinary college complex that was vacated in 2010 when the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was opened.

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