University of Georgia starts work on new veterinary teaching facility

The size of the University of Georgia’s veterinary teaching hospital has long been disproportionate to the number of the school’s students.

In fact, the hospital is recognized as one of the smallest in the United States for a school as large as UGA.

That proportion will finally start to balance out following the Nov. 9 groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the school’s new 300,000-square-foot veterinary medicine teaching hospital, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

During the ceremony, UGA President Michael Adams addressed the crowd of about 500 people and told them that upgrading the facility had been the topic of conversations for at least 16 years, the Banner-Herald said.

The added space will provide more space for veterinary students to work with both companion animals and working animals, which should reduce some stress for the students.

UGA's new hospital will be 50 percent larger than the existing hospital, with an area of 300,000 square feet compared to the existing center’s area of 200,000 square feet.

According to the Banner-Herald, the hospital accepts about 102 students per year, but that number may grow once the new facility is completed.

The cost of the new facility has been tabbed at $89 million, which includes a combination of state tax money, private donor funds, $6 million from an anonymous donor, and $1.5 million from the school’s athletic association.

The new school will be completed in approximately two years, according to the Banner-Herald.