Two new buildings are coming to life, with a third in store for the future, at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, as the college continues to make room for growth to its instructional and research programs.

Ground was broken on the Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition over the summer. By the beginning of this month, the addition’s footprint was pressed firmly into the land immediately in front of the college.

“Bringing this project to life is a significant leap forward for the college and will help our faculty train veterinarians in a future-focused, contemporary physical environment,” said Dr. Jennifer Hodgson, associate dean for professional programs at the veterinary college.

Construction crews from the W.M. Jordan Company today work at a steady pace on the addition, on track to finish by next summer. The $14.1 million, 30,000-square-foot facility will provide instructional space for a state-of-the art clinical techniques laboratory for third-year veterinary students and will also provide new faculty offices, student seminar space, and small conference areas.

Additionally, the space will also serve as a new main entrance to the college and showcase a key visual element previously missing in veterinary college buildings: Hokie Stone. Virginia Tech’s iconic Hokie Stone is the dolomite limestone featured in many of the university’s buildings.

The inside of the building -- renderings of which were revealed on the college’s website in September -- is designed in a sleek, minimalist style with bright and open common spaces.

The Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition isn’t the only major construction project that’s been under way on the college’s main campus in recent months. Work began on the Infectious Disease Research Facility last September, and the building, adjacent to the large animal entrance of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, is on track for occupancy later this year.

The $10.5 million, 16,000-square-foot research facility is being funded exclusively from state and college funds and includes laboratories and support space to accelerate translational medicine research.

With both the Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition and the Infectious Disease Research Facility moving forward, the veterinary college will now turn its attention to developing the Translational Medicine Building, still in its very early stages of life. The translational project, which is being developed jointly with Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Science, will include an expansion of the teaching hospital as well as research laboratories and training spaces for interdisciplinary research among the three colleges.

“We are moving ahead with the translational project and are working with our partners on campus to fund its first stage of planning, to be completed by May 2012,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the college. “The Translational Medicine Building would allow us to expand use of new approaches in training, clinical treatment, and research to benefit animal and human health. This is the missing link between basic research and its practical application to real animal and human health problems.”

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