University of Tennessee large animal hospital nears completion


Veterinary school hopes to regain full accreditation with $20.9 million expansion.

The University of Tennessee (UT) Institute of Agriculture’s College of Veterinary Medicine will soon open the doors to its newly renovated and expanded Large Animal Veterinary Hospital in Knoxville. Completion of the project will also pave the way for UT to have its accreditation status restored to full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education at its September meeting.

The AVMA’s education council reduced the school’s accreditation to “limited” after a 2008 site visit. To regain full accreditation, which the school had maintained since opening in 1979, the council required that the large animal isolation facilities, the large animal surgery and surgical preparation areas be updated to meet contemporary standards. The college responded with a $20.9 million expansion and renovation plan begun in April 2011. The plan was funded with $10 million shifted from the governor’s “chairs of excellence” fund, $2 million from stimulus money and rest garnered from private donations.

The 85,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in February 2013. The new equine space will include a permanent MRI unit, intensive care unit and expanded surgical and isolation space. The new farm animal hospital will include standing and recumbent farm animal surgery suites and isolation space. A separate 32,000-square-foot facility will house the new equine orthopedic diagnostic center and will include an imaging unit, farrier ship, lameness diagnostic center and event-sized arena.

The school is still looking for more than $6 million in donations to meet its fundraising goals.

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