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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A proposed remodel of UW-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine could expand the space by 50 percent.

School of Veterinary Medicine campaigns for funds to improve facilities

The UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine is running an online campaign in order to earn the remaining expansion funds that will not be covered by Gov. Tony Evers’ budget. 

An expansion of the School of Veterinary Medicine would double the size of their animal hospital, increase the number of exam rooms and expand on their laboratories. Currently, $90 million of Evers’ budget proposal is allotted to go toward the facilities expansion, leaving it up to UW-Madison to fund the additional $38 million needed to complete it. 

With their online campaign — Animals Need Heroes Too — the School of Veterinary Medicine has already raised $25 million dollars, according to School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Mark Markel. 

Markel said the expansion is necessary because the current facilities do not satisfy the needs of its students and staff. 

“We have no faculty offices remaining, we have no graduate student offices remaining and we have no laboratory space remaining,” Markel said. 

The School of Veterinary Medicine was built in 1983, what Markel calls “a different era.” He said since being built, factors such as increased class size, the implementation of imaging equipment such as MRI machines and the addition of faculty specialties has led to the lack of space in the facility. 

Markel said there is such little space that the school has resorted to storing some of their imaging equipment in a trailer out behind the facility. He said in some cases animal patients must be carried outside to this trailer to receive an MRI, even in the cold winter months. 

According to Markel, the university has been talking about this expansion since the early 2000s, but getting university and state funding has been difficult. 

“You ultimately have to convince the Regents that you’re a priority, you have to convince the campus, you have to convince the governor and legislature, and all those things take time,” Markel said. 

Despite these challenges, Markel remains positive that the facilities expansion is close. 

“I’m hopeful that in the next month and a half, as the state budget gets ironed out, that we will be included in that budget and be able to get going with construction in the next year,” Markel said. 

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