Tour of WCVM Lab Complex Highlights $9-M KIP Investment
|Left to right: MP Block, WCVM Dean Dr. Douglas Freeman, Minister Yelich and U of S VP Richard Florizone. Photo: Glen Berger, CP Images.|
On March 15th, Minister Lynne Yelich (Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification), and MP Kelly Block toured part of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's new diagnostics laboratory complex that will be completed during the summer of 2011.
The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan contributed $9.06 million to the lab renovations through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) in 2009.
The following backgrounder provides more information.
New WCVM Diagnostics Complex to Protect Animal and Human Health
Construction Update: $9.1-M Federal-Provincial KIP Investment at WCVM
- Completion of the KIP-supported initiatives for diagnostic facilities and associated areas will cap off a seven-year, $74-million infrastructure project that began at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 2004.
- The multi-phase project has included the construction of a new research wing, an expanded veterinary teaching hospital, a new diagnostics addition, and renovations to more than a third of the original veterinary college.
- On June 12, 2009, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan allocated $9.1 million to complete renovations to the WCVM’s diagnostic facilities and associated areas.
- The funding was part of a $21.8-million infrastructure investment at the University of Saskatchewan through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP).
- Construction on KIP-supported projects began in the fall of 2009. Renovations will be completed during the summer of 2011.
NUMBER OF JOBS CREATED
- By completion, this project is expected to create more than 160 construction and other project-related jobs in Canada, about 80 of which are expected to be created within Saskatchewan.
- By completion, this project is expected to have a direct economic benefit of more than $9 million in Canada, of which about $7 million is expected to be focused in Saskatchewan.
- Construction crews are renovating existing parts of the WCVM for the development of a comprehensive, biosecure laboratory complex. This new area will bring together nearly all of the diagnostic services including laboratories for the study of virology, immunology, bacteriology, serology (blood serum studies), toxicology, and prion diseases.
- These lab resources will be fully integrated with the WCVM’s new, two-storey diagnostics addition that was completed in 2009.
- This 3,000-square-metre addition includes a consolidated histology laboratory, a new post-mortem examination room, crucial laboratory space for diagnostic research and support services and a special project laboratory for the handling of potential high-risk cases of zoonotic disease (disease transmissible between humans and animals) or suspect foreign animal disease.
- Additional, KIP-funded projects at the WCVM include the development of a necropsy demonstration area for veterinary teaching, a bovine isolation area for clinical services, new student areas, and additional space for information technology and distance education.
- Diagnostic services and disease surveillance: The WCVM’s new diagnostics laboratory complex will provide Western Canadians — including livestock producers, veterinarians and researchers — with an advanced centre for animal health diagnostics testing and disease surveillance. The new diagnostics complex will help to protect animal and human health as well as food safety in Canada.
- Veterinary education: The new diagnostic laboratory complex and the necropsy demonstration area will support and enhance the training of future veterinarians — Canada’s first line of response against health threats such as emerging diseases and zoonotic pathogens. It will also provide graduate students with the technological resources that are necessary for specialized training in animal health, pathology and biomedical sciences.
- Research: The new laboratory complex and its diagnostic caseload will support ongoing efforts of WCVM researchers and their collaborators in critical areas such as infectious diseases, disease surveillance, epidemiology, public health and food safety. It will provide WCVM faculty, staff and students with an environment where innovations in diagnostic and clinical techniques can be developed, tested and practically applied — all at one centre.
For more information, contact:
Myrna MacDonald, Communications
Western College of Veterinary Medicine, U of S
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