After almost two years of construction, the anticipation is finally over as faculty and staff now call the state-of-the-art buildings home.
It's hard to believe that almost two years ago, Texas Tech University broke ground for its brand new School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) in Amarillo. At the time, moving into Amarillo Campus and Mariposa Station seemed like a distant goal. Over time, however, the timeline to move in evolved from a couple of years, to several months, to a few weeks and finally a couple of days.
Now it's ready. School faculty and staff have begun the move into the east wing of Amarillo Campus as well as Mariposa Station.
Packing boxes, moving boxes and then unpacking boxes can be a tedious task, but knowing the wait is over has the faculty and staff excited to make these incredible facilities their new home. Scott Mitchell, director of school facilities, played a significant role in helping organize and plan a smooth transition from the interim offices at the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health, just off the main Amarillo Health Science Center campus, to Amarillo Campus.
“We have been planning the logistics of this move for several months,” Mitchell said. “It is truly exciting to see it all come together as our faculty and staff settle into their new offices in this state-of-the-art facility.”
For more than 50 years, Texas Tech had been talking of building a new veterinary program but met roadblock after roadblock. Many wondered if this would ever come to fruition. However, with enough grit and incredible leadership and vision at Texas Tech, in Amarillo and communities across West Texas, and among elected officials, Texas Tech finally achieved something so many people hoped for but never thought would happen. Building the programmatic side of veterinary medicine couldn't have been done without the teamwork of the incredible faculty and staff at the School. The future of veterinary medicine has arrived! History is being made.
“Today is such an exciting day,” said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “I – we all – still have to pinch ourselves to know that this isn't a dream. It is real. And it happened because so many made it so. In particular, the Amarillo community and surrounding region, and the AEDC rallied to make it a success. We are thrilled to call Amarillo home. Our incredible team has primarily come to Amarillo to be a part of the School. They have been welcomed with open arms.”
Currently, the SVM has a vibrant team of 57 faculty and staff, and it continues to grow. In time, the School anticipates a team of approximately 120 employees to support the educational and research activities of the School and its students. The world-class facility was built with ample space to accommodate this growth. It also was designed for students and guests to have easy access to faculty and staff.
Construction is still in progress on the west wing of Amarillo Campus, which houses the laboratory and research facilities. So, the facilities are not yet open to the community. The west wing is projected to be completed in October.
Although there is still work to be done, the School is on track, on time and on budget. Students will arrive starting Monday (Aug. 9) for orientation before classes officially begin on Aug. 16. The official ribbon-cutting celebration will be held on Oct. 22nd.
About the School of Veterinary Medicine
Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo was established in 2018. In March 2021, the school was granted the all-important status of Provisional Accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) and is set to welcome its first class of students this month.
The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to serve rural and regional communities. Its curriculum is focused on the competencies and skills necessary for success in practice types that support these communities. Texas Tech's innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.