Pre-Clinical Class Expansion Project

Frequently asked questions

Why are we undertaking this project?
The CVM Pre-Clinical Class Expansion Project is a facility renovation and new construction project that will enable the College to address the following key factors:

  • limited access to a Cornell veterinary education for New York State students;
  • competitive disadvantage and a declining impact among top-tier institutions;
  • need for additional revenue to replace decline in New York State funding; and,
  • existing hospital capacity to train additional Cornell veterinary students.

This capital project will allow the College to maximize the capacity of the teaching hospitals with Cornell-trained students. Currently, we train approximately 120 students during the fourth year, but only just over 100 of those students have completed their pre-clinical studies at Cornell. With this renovation, Cornell will be able to train 120 students in each of the pre-clinical years. Once fully implemented, Cornell's DVM enrollment will stand at approximately 480 students in total, or 120 students per class year. The entering class enrollment for the past two years has been 102 students. The facility project will include renovation and expansion of classrooms, teaching laboratories, cafeteria, locker rooms and shower facilities. The project will also create a new entrance off Tower Road that will unite the entrances for Schurman Hall, the Veterinary Education Center, and the Veterinary Research Tower and establish appropriate public atrium space for large gatherings and presentations.

This project will enable the nation's top-ranked veterinary school to train more (although still significantly fewer than its peers) students. Most importantly, this project empowers Cornell to make more seats available for students from New York State, as roughly two-thirds of the expanded pre-clinical class size will be reserved for residents of New York.

What will we gain?
Through this project, the College will retain its commitment to the current educational pedagogy, infusing the learning with case-based activities and hands-on work beginning in the first year. In addition, this project will address the following needs:

To effectively use space, the project will create "zones" throughout the College's footprint, clustering similar activities (teaching, discovery, and service) and creating appropriate access for the public and members of the Cornell community.

To ensure that we can efficiently and effectively support larger pre-clinical class sizes, the project will include construction of two new lecture halls and a large classroom.

To provide comfortable and learning-appropriate spaces, the project will address Schurman hall needs in targeted areas, including the HVAC system, infrastructure challenges, and life safety needs.

To develop a sense of space and foster a 21st century culture, the project will create a series of major public spaces, lounges, and study rooms that will enhance the sense of community and promote interaction and collaboration.

In addition, the project will upgrade restrooms, locker rooms, and the cafeteria.

What will the project cost and where is the funding coming from?
The total project budget is $74.1 million for both phases. Most of the funding for this project will come from the State University Construction Fund (SUCF), with resources that can only be used for capital projects. Cornell has already received $22 million from the SUCF to begin work. In addition, the College has received additional support from the State to offset increased operating costs associated with larger pre-clinical class sizes. Private support will be needed to finish the project. For information on how you can help support this project, please contact Kevin Mahaney, Assistant Dean of Alumni Affairs, Development, and Communications (607-253-3747/km70@cornell.edu).

How much new construction will there be?
Plans call for demolishing 68,000 square feet of existing space, replacing it with 65,000 square feet of new space, and renovating 33,000 square feet.

What areas will be impacted by construction?
During construction, we expect that library services will be relocated. We will find alternative sites for activities normally held in Lecture Halls I and II and the Dry Lab as we expect that the use of these areas will be largely disrupted and/or closed for some period. Tutorial rooms will be relocated and general circulation from one end of the College complex to the other will need to be re-routed as most of the construction activity will generally occur in the space along and adjacent to a corridor extending from the front entrance courtyard of Schurman Hall and the Veterinary Education Center (the Pedestrian Plaza adjacent to Tower Road) and continuing east through Schurman Hall and into the courtyards in which the former diagnostic laboratory building resides. This corridor effectively divides the College complex in half. The floorplans illustrate current expectations for the new layout of the College complex. The schedule for demolition and construction has not been determined as of yet.

When will it happen?
Construction on the first phase is expected to begin in the late fall or early winter of 2014 and be completed in the late fall or early winter of 2015. Phase 2 construction will likely follow immediately with construction completed in the fall of 2017. We anticipate enrolling the first class of 120 students in the Fall of 2017, which means that in the Spring of 2020, the first "all Cornell-trained pre-clinical class" will enter clinics in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. Although we anticipate some changes, the project will include the following steps that we expect will happen along a timeline similar to this:

Stage Begin Complete
Concept Design   Done
Schematic Design February 2013 Done
Design Development May 2013 Done
Construction Documents October 2013 Done
Requests Bids/Select Contractor August 2014 October 2014
Phase 1 Renovations January 2015 January 2016
Phase 2 New Construction January 2016 June 2017

Team Members

The CVM Class Expansion Project is a major university capital project, and it is being managed by the Contract College Facilities Office directed by Jim Kazda. Paul Stemkoski is the Project Manager assigned from the Contract College Facilities Office.

Dean Kotlikoff has appointed a College Pre-Clinical Class Expansion Planning Team to provide overall College leadership and input for this project. The Planning Team serves in an advisory capacity to the Dean, and the Dean will be responsible for all final College-based decisions. Planning Team members include:

Wayne Davenport Director of Facilities Capital Projects
Andrew DiSalvo DVM Student, Class of 2015
Kathy Edmondson Assistant Dean for Learning and Instruction
Kathy Earnest-Koons Senior Lecturer, Microbiology
Julia Felippe Director of Veterinary Curriculum, Associate Professor, Clinical Sciences
Yrjo Grohn Professor and Department Chair, Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Rick Hackett Professor, Clinical Sciences
John Hermanson Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences
Mike Kotlikoff Dean
Carolyn McDaniel Lecturer, Clinical Sciences
David Howe Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration
Meg Thompson Director of Continuing Education; Senior Lecturer, Clinical Sciences

In addition to the Pre-Clinical Class Expansion Planning Team, specific focus groups of faculty, staff, and students are meeting with the architects to provide input on the needs for such areas as the gross anatomy lab, clinical skills lab, wet and dry labs, library, tutorial rooms, study space, dining area, locker rooms and other student support spaces.

Ask a question or voice an opinion
If you have a question or would like to express your thoughts and suggestions regarding the Veterinary Class Expansion initiative, please send an email to cvmexpansion@cornell.edu.