AVC Breaks Ground for $32M Expansion and Renovation Project

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Today, the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) of the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) broke ground for a $32-million expansion and renovation project. The largest part of the funding, $18 million, is from the federal government through a national commitment to Canada's four veterinary colleges. This funding was secured through a cooperative effort amongst Canada's four Veterinary Colleges working in full collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

"Strategic investments in science and innovation are key to providing Canadian producers with new markets and opportunities," said Wayne Easter, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, speaking on behalf of Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell. "These new facilities will add to the College's capacity to conduct research and enhance the rapidly growing research profile at UPEI."

The province of Prince Edward Island has already pledged $2 million to AVC's expansion and renovations as part of a $25 million commitment for capital renewal at UPEI over 10 years.

The expansion will begin with the construction of a 57,000 square-foot Bioresource Research Complex that will annex the existing building. It will house centres of expertise, including the AVC Lobster Science Centre, the Atlantic Centre for Comparative Biomedical Research, and the AVC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences. The Complex will also have extensive space for animal holding, research labs, and offices, including workspace for graduate and post-doctoral students.

"Now is the time to build on our success. Our teaching, research and service programs continue to evolve to keep pace with society's growing expectations. AVC graduates and researchers contribute not just to animal health, but to human health and food safety," says Dr. Tim Ogilvie, Dean of AVC. "Our full expansion will give us the infrastructure to better meet today's demands on veterinary medicine."

Helping AVC to build on its success, UPEI's chancellor, Bill Andrew and his wife Denise, announced at today's groundbreaking celebration, a $250,000 gift to go toward AVC's capital expansion. Andrew is an engineering graduate of UPEI and says he is proud of what UPEI has achieved and is optimistic about its future. "We're grateful to Bill and Denise for their support in helping AVC to continue to provide excellence in its teaching, research, and service programs," says Dean Ogilvie.

Future projects slated for renewal are dependent on fundraising efforts and include the expansion and renovation of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, upgrades to the Aquatic Animal-holding Facility, construction of a student Learning Commons, and upgrades to laboratories for a total of 129,000 square feet of new or renovated space.

For nearly twenty years, AVC has been Atlantic Canada's Centre of Excellence for veterinary medicine. With more than 800 graduates, a veterinary teaching hospital caring for more than 3,500 large and 5,000 small animals each year, and ongoing world-class research, the College is committed to educating veterinarians, promoting animal and human health, and providing services for the management of the health and well-being of animals.

If you are interested in investing in AVC's expansion and renovation project or would like more information, you can contact the AVC Dean's Office at (902) 566-0882 or by email at buildingavc@upei.ca.


Lauranne MacNeill
AVC External Relations