Weitz Breaks Ground on New Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University

November 9, 2020 / Press Releases

The new state-of-the-art VDL will provide essential infrastructure for sample receiving and processing, pathology, bacteriology, necropsy, histopathology and an incinerator.

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Weitz Company gathered with key project leaders on October 30th to break ground at the site for Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s new Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL). The new state-of-the-art VDL will provide essential infrastructure for sample receiving and processing, pathology, bacteriology, necropsy, histopathology and an incinerator. The new construction will improve efficiency and effectiveness of the process flow while addressing critical issues of space quantity and quality and provide the necessary biosafety and biocontainment.

The facility will include specialized laboratory spaces with a flexible layout concept. This will allow the labs to quickly adapt to changing user needs and/or research goals.

“The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is a crown jewel for Iowa State University and for the entire state of Iowa,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen. “A long-time national leader in advancing animal health and food safety, the VDL has also leveraged its expertise to play a key role in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new facility is critical for the VDL to continue providing innovative solutions and support to the complex and growing needs of animal and public health.”

The VDL has been a national leader in protecting animal and human health since it was established in 1947. Processing more than 100,000 submissions a year – and more than a million tests in total – the laboratory plays a key role in ensuring animal health, including wildlife and companion animals; public health; world food safety; and the competitiveness of Iowa’s $32.5 billion animal agricultural industry.

“We’re excited to continue our relationship with Iowa State University where Weitz has had a long history of successful builds. We have assembled an excellent design-build team that will play a critical role in the success of the project and we look forward to building a strong relationship with the Vet Med team,” said The Weitz Company Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Tousley.

The stand-alone 94,000 SF VDL will begin construction in spring of 2021 with a scheduled opening in 2023. The Weitz Company is partnered with Design Build Team members Strang Inc., Raker Rhodes Engineering, Nilles Associates Inc., and Baker Group.