Purdue University isn’t officially requesting funds for a new veterinary teaching hospital from the Indiana General Assembly this year. But when Purdue issued its top capital request projects for the year, it added the veterinary hospital project as a “supplemental” item for legislators to think about.
So is it on a wish list? Dream list? “Hope” might be a better word. Plans are underway, and it sounds like Purdue has all intentions of turning the vet hospital into reality. Exactly when the university makes an all-out effort to seek funding for this project hasn’t yet been announced.
Here are six facts about the proposed project. Some of this information was taken from a report by Michael Cline, Purdue’s director of facilities, originally sent to the Purdue board of trustees in August. It formed the basis for Purdue’s top capital funding requests from the Legislature for 2017, and is available online.
Fact 1: A veterinary medicine teaching hospital was not one of the top five capital request priorities. A new facility for ag and biological engineering topped the list. However, Purdue’s request did include a summary about the vet teaching hospital, even though it wasn’t officially part of the 2017-19 request to the Legislature.
Fact 2: Legislators have heard the message about the need for a new vet teaching facility. A legislator with ag ties made it clear in a personal conversation that legislators are well aware of Purdue’s intentions for the future, and of the need for such a facility.
Fact 3: The facility would consist of new construction. The proposed facility would enhance Purdue’s current veterinary program. Documents submitted to the Legislature for review don’t call for any demolition of existing space to complete this project.
Fact 4: The site for the future vet teaching hospital has been selected. The new teaching hospital would be located on a property along South River Road and west of U.S. 231 in West Lafayette. The existing vet school and Purdue campus lies east of U.S. 231.
Fact 5: The project carries a hefty price tag. The preliminary estimate is $140 million. The 250,000-square-foot facility would include a teaching hospital for both small and large animals.
Fact 6: The Purdue Veterinary School enrolled its first class in 1959 at the current facility. The first class graduated in 1963. If you’re a trivia buff, Purdue previously had a Department of Veterinary Science, established in 1877 to study animal diseases.