Dec 092007
Authors: Laura Anderson

Despite the layer of snow that dusted the ground Friday morning, the groundbreaking ceremony was still carried out for the new Diagnostic Medical Center.

Larry Penley, president of CSU, Anthony Frank, senior vice president, Lance Perryman, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Professor Barbara Powers, director of the Diagnostic Medical Center, ventured the snowy cold and jammed their shovels into a patch of dirt at the site of the new building, just south of the veterinary teaching hospital.

“It was snowy, but that’s typical Colorado,” Powers said.

She said she’s glad to see progress being made on the new building.

“This new building has been a goal and dream of mine since I became director of the Diagnostic Lab a little over 10 years ago,” Powers said. “It’s great to see some progress.”

The new facility will house the university’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Clinical Pathology Laboratory, Animal Population Health Institute and the Extension veterinarian.

Penley said that the new medical center will benefit not only CSU and the Fort Collins community, but also the state and nation through the research and education it will provide.

Powers said the new center will specialize in diagnostic testing, particularly for zoonotic diseases, which are disease that can be spread between animals and humans, such as rabbis and West Nile Virus. The new center will be critical in performing more than 350,000 annual diagnostic tests.

Those tests will help diagnose and treat both animals in agriculture and companion animals across the state, the economy of which depends heavily on animals.

The Diagnostic Center is also one of only seven labs in the country selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. It is also the only lab in the state that is certified to test for Chronic Wasting Disease for hunters and elk farmers.

Dell Rae Moellenberg, extension specialist for public relations at CSU said the new building will also bring the veterinary community together.

“Office space is currently spread out at different campuses. This will provide a central place for offices.”

Construction should cost the state legislator $42 million. The 90,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be open in December 2009.

Staff writer Laura Anderson can be reached at

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