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Construction Project

Project Overview

Partnering with experts at the Weiss/Manfredi architectural firm of New York City, the College embarked on a transformational capital project that created appropriately sized classrooms for expanding pre-clinical education, renovated existing anatomy, tutorial, and student surgery areas, established facilities for meetings and events, developed an e-learning center, and created outstanding spaces for collaboration and study. The project also replaced the vacated former diagnostic lab and necropsy suites, included needed infrastructure upgrades to Schurman Hall, established a central student locker area, and strengthened our sense of community through improved public spaces and a new cafeteria.

Ultimately, the project has created a dynamic, asymmetrical series of spaces that has united the entrances for Schurman Hall, the Veterinary Education Center, and the Veterinary Research Tower and established an expansive public atrium space for large gatherings and presentations including the annual NYS Veterinary Conference.

The James Law Auditorium has been replaced with a three-story building that houses the Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library and administrative offices. The project added two additional, large, tiered lecture halls; a relocated dining area that more effectively supports food service needs and fosters a greater sense of community; a larger footprint for the gross anatomy lab; a plethora of study spaces that support both private, quiet study, and group learning; and rain gardens and a green roof to creatively handle water run-off.

The college now enjoys 87,000 square-feet of new space and 60,200 square-feet of renovations, for a total area of 147,200 square-feet (65,000 square-feet was demolished for the project). In addition to being Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certified, since opening in September 2017, spaces like Takoda’s Run Atrium, Lefty’s Plaza, and the new dining facility continue to promote collaboration among students, faculty, and staff.  The project cost totaled $91.5 million, much of which was covered with state funds that have been allocated for capital projects, with a portion coming from private support. 

A History of Renewal

Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine was originally housed in the middle of campus, in what is now Ives Hall. At the time, the building was one of the most innovative and spacious veterinary facilities in the country, serving a total of approximately 300 students and faculty and supporting the entire teaching, research, and service needs of a program mainly dedicated to large animal medicine. Since then, the College has grown and diversified to meet society’s changing needs.

Dean George C. Poppensiek spearheaded the construction of the Veterinary Research Tower, which opened in 1974, and Dean Edward Melby fought courageously for a new teaching hospital that was critical to preserving the College’s standing and to meeting the challenges and opportunities of expanding clinical programs. And after many years of planning, the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory opened in 2010, uniting multiple diagnostic services that had been in separate facilities.

The final stage of the Class Expansion Project will finish in June with the opening of the Cornell Small Animal Community Practice facility, which will function as a full-service small animal veterinary practice for cats and dogs. The new 12,000-square-foot facility will serve as a community resource as well as a teaching facility for DVM students, where they’ll receive practical experience in a clinical setting under the practiced eye of Cornell’s experts.

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