Today at the Lifetime Learning Centre at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, the Government of Ontario announced it was spending $23 million to renovated the present OVC building, and build a new one. The cheque is part of the provincial government’s pledge to spend $160 billion over 12 years on infrastructure improvements across Ontario; $3 billion of which is capital grants to improve post-secondary institutions over the next 10 years.
So what does $23 million buy you at the OVC? According to the province’s news release it will fund the construction of new learning space, flexible classrooms for computer-based studies, patient simulators and medical communications labs. In the old OVC building, new space will be created for advanced surgery and anesthesia. There will also be improved biosecurity and infection control, according to the accompanying U of G news release.
All told when the project is done, the OVC will have 70,000 square feet of new and renovated space. Space that U of G President Franco Vaccarino says the college needs to keep it’s competitive edge. “OVC is the province’s only veterinary medical college,” he says. “This critical funding will support our continued accreditation and help us maintain out leadership position in innovative education and research in animal and human health.”
Guelph MPP and Minister of Education Liz Sandals was onhand to help make the announcement and points out that there’s a strong symbiosis between animal health and human health with roughly half of infectious diseases being communicable between humans and animals.
“The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College has a long, proud tradition of providing students with highly specialized training in veterinary medicine and making significant contributions to research in areas such as animal and human health and food security,” Sandals said. “I am delighted that our government is investing $23 million in a cutting-edge clinical learning building that will support the college’s world renowned program of providing students with hands-on, interactive learning experiences and research opportunities to improve quality of life.”
Also on hand was Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Reza Moridi. Moridi explained that this and other investments in post-secondary education, like the budget announcement of changes to OSAP and scholarship programs to make tuition more affordable, is proof of the government’s commitment to education in the Province of Ontario.
Our government understands that providing access to high-quality education and training is critical to building bright futures for Ontario students, and to helping our province compete and win in the knowledge economy,” Moridi explained. “Future graduates will provide a valuable return on the province’s investment by getting good jobs and applying their skills to make an impact on key sectors of our economy and our communities.”
Here’s the raw audio from the announcement on Friday afternoon.