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$80 Million New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center Under Construction: Includes $56 Million Grant from the State of New York

Ithaca, N.Y.-Construction has officially begun for the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC). The $80 million Center will be built with a $56 million grant from the State of New York. This grant, supplemented by $24 million from Cornell University and other sources, will be used to fund construction of the Center. The 125,000 gross square foot Center is expected to be complete in 2010 and will accommodate the work of more than 200 people who are currently housed in 12 locations. Complete with laboratories at biosafety levels 2 and 3 (which will enhance Cornell's ability to investigate infectious diseases), a state-of-the-art necropsy facility and multidisciplinary diagnostic laboratories, the new Center will replace the existing facilities, which were constructed in 1978, and expand Cornell's service, teaching, and research capacities.

"The Animal Health Diagnostic Center is a unique partnership between Cornell University and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets," said Veterinary College of Medicine Dean Michael Kotlikoff. "From dairy cows to chickens, from wild deer to exotic pet birds, from fish in our lakes and streams to sheep and goats, the health of animals and humans and of New York State agriculture is superbly served by this great laboratory. The new Animal Health Diagnostic Center laboratory will continue to inspire 21st century discovery, strengthen our ability to successfully respond to emergencies, and protect the animals and citizens of New York State, and we are enormously grateful to all of those who have worked so hard to make this laboratory possible."

The new Center will provide enhanced capabilities to improve the health of food- and fiber-producing animals, companion animals, exotic animals, and wildlife and to advance public health through the diagnosis and control of zoonotic diseases. Cornell's AHDC is the only full-service multidisciplinary animal disease diagnostic facility in New York State and is a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Every year, this facility conducts approximately one million tests on more than 150,000 cases received from the United States and Canada.

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, "Government has no greater responsibility than to ensure the safety of its citizens. This state-of-the-art Animal Health Diagnostic Center will play a critical role in our efforts to detect and prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens that represent a very real threat not only our animals, but to the health and well-being of our agricultural industry and the people of New York. Governor Paterson and I are committed to working with Cornell in an effort to ensure a safe, wholesome and high quality food supply for the benefit of our citizens and farmers."

The new Center has been designed to operate on 50% less energy than similar buildings of this type. Special attention has been given to building orientation, exterior wall construction detailing, and glazing selection. Heat recovery, reduced air change rates, and lower sash heights are other strategies that have been employed to provide an energy conscience and appropriate design.

The building will rise from an award-winning architectural design created by CUH2A. The building's two wings are linked by a central atrium and form a corner/edge for the Vet College complex. The northern, formal face of the building, with an extensive glass curtain wall, overlooks Fall Creek Gorge and the plantation's arboretum. The obtuse angle at the intersection of the two wings opens up to connect the entrance to the view beyond. The floor plans of the building are carefully layered to separate public circulation from service circulation with open laboratory space occupying the center layer. The existing service yard blacktop hardscape will be replaced with more permeable landscaping.

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