Construction of the future home of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine will continue thanks to final approval of its $61.3 million budget.

The construction will create a new wing of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health where WADDL scientists will conduct detection and surveillance programs. The new facility will strengthen and expand capacity and capability for WADDL as a critical resource for the state, region, and nation, ensuring that WSU remains an industry leader in disease surveillance for animal and public health, diagnostics, innovative research, and education on a global scale.

The WSU Board of Regents approved the Global Animal Health Phase Two‘s budget at their Sept. 20 meeting in Pullman.

The animal health diagnostic laboratory is the only research facility in the state officially sanctioned and funded to provide comprehensive animal, food and environmental surveillance. Since 1974, WADDL’s testing demand has increased more than 250 percent with 2.5 million tests conducted in the last 10 years. As such, WADDL is a critical health resource for food animal production agriculture, veterinarians, companion animal owners, and other state and federal agencies, including the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Health, USDA, FDA and CDC.

Global Animal Health Phase II will also house research and development labs and serve as a teaching lab for veterinary medicine students, postdocs and other health professionals, graduate and undergraduate students. It will be connected to the Allen Center, which houses the school’s global animal health research programs.

Original funding of the project dates back to 2015, when the Board of Regents approved $1.9 million in WSU-CVM self-funding toward early design costs. WSU then received $23 million from the Washington State legislature in the 2017-2019 biennium and an additional 36.4 million in the 2019-2021 biennium to complete the project, bringing the total budget to $61.3 million. When completed in early 2021, the WADDL facility will provide the enhanced workflow, biosafety, and biosecurity required for increased testing capacity, discovery, and regulatory compliance.

The Paul G. Allen School for Global Health was originally established in 2008 as the School for Global Animal Health. It was renamed following a $26 million donation from Paul G. Allen. It is a global leader in animal health and the research of zoonotic disease transmission between animals and humans. Its faculty and staff are working on efforts including eliminating rabies, tackling antimicrobial resistance and decoding the pathogenesis of zoonotic diseases.