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New AU animal teaching hospital close to completion

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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

The brand new Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital is nearing completion.

The 208,000 sq ft building will be opening its doors will soon. It will transform the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine campus into the largest treatment facility of companion animals and education of veterinary professionals in the nation.

"Our charge was to build this for 40 years in the future. Obviously, we don't get to build like this very often. Part of that increase knows that we are going to grow in the years to come and provide some flex space for diagnostic technologies that we don't even know exist now," explains AU Veterinary Professor of Clinical Sciences, Dr. Bill Brawner.

The three phase construction project will total $48 million. However, with state-of-the-art equipment and furnishings the total plan will cost the university around $74 million.

Phase I is set to be completed near the end of February.

"We will go into Hoerlin Hall, which we call Phase II-B and demo that area and connect the hospital to that building. Then we also have a dog park and a connective bridge between this building and Overton Hall to complete," says Senior Project Manager of Brasfield and Gorrie, Steve Haney.

In this clinic, students and faculty will provide leading edge animal healthcare and new effective treatments to benefit residents all over the Southeast.

Specialized services will include animal critical care, community practice, oncology and neurology.

It will also have a full physical therapy program with an indoor exercise pool and eleven surgery suites.

"This is like that next level of care. I tell people this is like the university teaching hospitals where you have great care at home, but sometimes you need to go to Birmingham, UAB and we are that for the community here," explains Brawner.

All construction is scheduled to be completed by September 2014.

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