Last month the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) broke ground on a 90,000-square-foot, $53-million facility in College Station. The much needed-new building will house one of the largest veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the country and will allow the agency to continue to operate the most sophisticated diagnostic equipment available and conduct state-of-the-art testing to support veterinarians and animal owners.

In 1967, the Texas Legislature appropriated funds to build the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station. Since the doors opened in 1969, the agency has continued to remain on the cutting edge of veterinary diagnostics, investing in sophisticated equipment and innovative testing techniques. The business of veterinary diagnostics has changed in many ways since then, with increased requirements for biosecurity and biosafety. These advancements have expedited the need for a multi-faceted laboratory space for the agency. In May 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature appropriated funds for the construction of a new facility for TVMDL.

The Nov. 14 groundbreaking event showcased the contributions TVMDL makes to the Texas A&M University System's (TAMUS) mission; the agency is at the forefront of ensuring animal and human health as well as food safety and security through diagnostics. Several members of the Texas House of Representatives were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking, including Representatives Myra Crownover, Kyle Kacal, and John Raney. In addition, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Chairman Phil Adams and Regents Judy Morgan, Charles W. Schwartz and Jim Schwertner attended the event. TAMUS Chancellor John Sharp and Texas A&M AgriLife Acting Vice Chancellor and Acting Dean Bill Dugas, PhD, also marked the occasion.