Note to Reporters: Architectural renderings of the planned ERL are available by request.
Plans to rebuild the laboratory and office space for Colorado State University’s prestigious Equine Reproduction Laboratory 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.
A design committee was established by the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences dean, Lance Perryman, shortly after the fire. 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,” Perryman said. “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. We now have an opportunity to build a facility that better serves our clients and employees’ needs.”
The Equine Reproduction Laboratory is known world-wide for its innovative science, which benefits horses and humans. 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 center was the first to harvest eggs from deceased mares and develop full-term, healthy foals. The ERL, with its early history rooted in a small tin shed on the university’s Foothills Campus, has been researching equine reproduction and bringing miracle foals to life for more than 30 years at Colorado State.
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 or oocytes. The building also will have improved teaching space and offices. The final building is estimated to be about 11,000 square feet, but may be constructed in two phases. It will contain distinct areas for mare and foal work, assisted reproduction 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. For more information about donating to the rebuilding efforts, visit csu-equine-laboratory-support.colostate.edu.