CSU Equine Reproduction Lab to Begin Rebuilding in 2012

Plans to rebuild the laboratory and office space for Colorado State University's (CSU) Equine Reproduction Laboratory (ERL) are in final design stages, and officials anticipate that construction will start next summer. The building was destroyed by an early morning fire on July 27.

Shortly after the fire, Lance Perryman, DVM, PhD, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, established a design committee led by Colin Clay, PhD, head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences. The committee has completed a design for the building, identified a building site at the laboratory complex, and is focused on completing design for the interior.

"Occasionally, one has the opportunity to turn the tables on a tragedy and create a silver lining," said Perryman. "While we were fortunate that no animals or people were injured in this fire, the loss of research and equipment and the impact on personnel was difficult, but we now also have an opportunity to build a facility that better serves our clients and employees' needs."

The ERL is known world-wide for its innovative science, which benefits horses and humans, and ERL experts see mares and stallions from around the world and work to develop new technology to preserve their bloodlines. Several techniques used today in human and animal reproduction assistance were pioneered at the ERL including semen freezing and cooling. The laboratory was the first to harvest eggs from deceased mares and develop full-term, healthy foals.

All client services and research formerly conducted in the destroyed space are continuing uninterrupted in other buildings on the grounds.

The new building will be larger with more space for research and serving clients, some of whom also lost property in the fire in the form of embryos, stallion semen, and oocytes. The building also will have improved teaching space and offices. The final building is estimated to be about 11,000 square feet, but construction could be completed in two phases depending on funding. It will contain distinct areas for mare and foal work, assisted reproductive services, and stallion work. Animal movement into and around the building also will be improved.

The construction goal is to complete the building in early 2013. Construction is estimated at $5 million. Insurance will cover some of the cost, but a final number is not yet available. Fundraising to cover the remainder of the costs has begun. To keep up to date on the ERL rebuild, and for more information about donating to the rebuilding efforts, visit the "Rebuild the ERL" web site.

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Colorado State University

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