Regents Approves Planning for VDL Project

September 13, 2018

The state Board of Regents today approved plans for the College of Veterinary Medicine to begin planning for a $75 million Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, an estimated 83,000- to 88,000-square-foot new building.

The 2018 Legislature committed $63.5 million in state support to the project over six years, beginning with $1 million for project planning in the current year. 

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert said $75 million is the sum of the state commitment, available university funds and estimated private gifts. He said this year's planning will include an assessment of whether $75 million is adequate to address all the needs in a 2014 VDL study - such as efficient processing of cases, biosafety and biosecurity requirements, and the ability to quickly identify emerging diseases before they become widespread. Planning could consider other options - such as VDL units for which bio containment isn't critical remaining in the current lab space.

"This is a critical facility, really not just for Iowa State, as much as it is for Iowa, the nation and the world," Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen told the Regents. "If we don't understand diseases that are occurring on livestock and poultry operations, then we really can't prepare for the future."