PULLMAN, Wash.–Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has received a final federal appropriation of $7.35 million to complete construction of the Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility (ADBF) on the Pullman campus.
“We are very happy to receive the final portion of this valuable federal commitment,” said WSU President Samuel Smith. “Strong bipartisan support of this project for nearly a decade of planning and construction is a testament to the reputation of excellence WSU’s veterinary college faculty and USDA animal disease research partners command in national and international circles.”
Planning for the $22.7 million, 42,000 square-foot building attached to the east end of Bustad Hall began in 1989. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, the project was awarded to WSU based on a critical need for more research laboratory space, a legacy of outstanding research results produced in cooperation with USDA researchers, and Washington state’s project match.
“The Washington State Legislature recognized an extraordinary opportunity when they agreed to fund the new $38 million Veterinary Teaching Hospital at WSU and use that project as the state’s match to more than meet the federal requirements for the ADBF,” said Borje Gustafsson, dean of the WSU veterinary college. “Now with completion of the ADBF at hand, WSU will be among the elite universities of this nation with respect to research on animal health and well-being.”
Among the more than 25 research projects currently being investigated and that will move into the ADBF are those that relate to food safety (E. coli 0157:H7), vaccine development for parasitic animal diseases, cattle tuberculosis, food animal lentiviral infections (AIDS-like diseases) and cattle leukemia.
The WSU Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, the primary occupant of the new facility, has a remarkable history of regularly attracting research funding from the National Institutes of Health, USDA, foundations, commodity groups, and private donors. Currently, approximately 75 percent of all departmental graduate students with veterinary degrees who are eligible as U.S. citizens receive stipend and salary support through competitive awards from the NIH’s Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Awards Program. WSU leads the nation’s veterinary colleges with eleven graduate students holding these three-year awards worth about $180,000 each.
Among the department’s faculty, more than 61 percent of all departmental funding is obtained from extramural sources totaling more than $3.45 million annually.
“The completion of the ADBF will further enhance WSU’s sterling reputation as one of the nation’s premier veterinary colleges,” said U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt. “I am proud to have worked so closely with WSU to secure the funding needed to complete this important project.”
Equally as important are the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Animal Disease Research Unit researchers and staff who will move with the department into the new facility. Since its earliest beginnings in 1938, WSU faculty and federal personnel have forged a strong collaboration on research projects directed at important animal diseases. Working together daily, scientists from the USDA and WSU have produced results that have been scientifically valuable, mutually beneficial, efficient and cost-effective for society.
“The ADBF project at WSU was the largest agricultural facilities building appropriation to be funded during fiscal year 1997,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Other projects in the country were left out of federal consideration in part because of WSU’s extraordinary history of quality research efforts and the state’s match of the newest and finest veterinary teaching hospital in the nation.” A request for bids for Phase II of the ADBF construction will be advertised beginning October 17. The project is expected to begin in December 1997 or January 1998 and last up to 14 months. Completion will likely be in February or March of 1999.