The University of Georgia in Athens is stepping up its game with the construction of a brand-new veterinary teaching hospital.
“The new facility will further enhance the international reputation of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine,” says Dr. Sheila Allen, dean of the college. “Having an advanced teaching hospital will substantially help faculty recruitment and retention, plus it will allow the College of Veterinary Medicine to plan for future enrollment growth to meet the needs of veterinary medical care in Georgia.”
The proposal for the new hospital was approved in 2005, after several needs for a new building were identified with the existing facility. The next six years were spent obtaining funds through fundraising and state funds, and ground was broken on the hospital in 2013.
Allen says there were multiple reasons a new building was needed. The hospital couldn’t accommodate advanced technologies that are now standard in veterinary medicine, nor would it hold expected enrollment increases. The location proved difficult for large livestock trailers to enter, plus there was no pasture space left for large animals to recover.
With the new advancements of the teaching hospital, students, faculty and the community can expect a significant improvement. “The new facility will allow future veterinarians to learn in a state-of-the-art facility, so they can be better prepared for meeting the needs of society for veterinary care,” Allen says.
The new 140,000-square-foot hospital, nearly three times larger than the existing one, will feature many improvements for large animals, including multiple fenced pastures; separate, stand-alone buildings for large animal isolation; and a base for all farm services, as well as a covered outdoor arena for evaluating horses.
There will also be advanced imaging capability for both small and large animals, including MRI and CT equipment.
The hospital will allow UGA to increase veterinary medicine enrollment from 102 to 150 students per year and is expected to open March 2015.
Other State Programs
Along with UGA , six other Georgia schools contribute to the world of veterinary medicine, offering various degrees and programs for hopeful professionals.
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Berry College and Fort Valley State University all offer pre-veterinary programs for those who want to continue on to a college of veterinary medicine along with other animal science degrees.