Washington State University says it plans to open a satellite veterinary clinic in Spokane's University District by next winter.
Lydig Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the apparent low bidder, with a base bid of just over $1 million, to renovate for the clinic an about 5,000-square-foot building WSU owns at 218 E. Spokane Falls Blvd. that formerly housed BPS Plumbing, says Bruce Thompson, director of capital planning and development for WSU's Riverpoint Campus. A contract likely will be awarded in early February, and Thompson says much will depend on the bids on eight alternates that could be included in the contract. He says about 15 companies submitted bids for the project.
Bryan Slinker, interim dean for WSU's School of Veterinary Medicine, which is based in Pullman, says the school hopes to open the Spokane clinic next November or December.
The clinic is being developed to provide additional training opportunities for veterinary students in specialized fields, while offering services to the public in Spokane. Slinker says locating the clinic in Spokane will give it a bigger potential client base, which is often a hindrance in Pullman, where the school is located. Slinker says that though the list of the veterinary services the clinic will offer hasn't been made final yet, they could include such specialties as dentistry, dermatology, and ophthalmology. The school hopes to offer services not currently available here to avoid competing with Spokane-area veterinarians, he says.
"Whatever we do has to be very complementary to services provided already in the region," he says.
The clinic will be a general purpose facility that will allow outpatient care, with no emergency care or overnight animal holding, Slinker says.
Slinker says the school hopes to recruit veterinarians as independent contractors to supervise students and to provide services at the clinic. He says students will rotate to the Spokane satellite clinic from Pullman for part of their final year of instruction. WSU enrolls just under 100 new veterinary students each year, he says, and has a core of about 113 faculty members, Slinker says.
The building on Spokane Falls will be remodeled to include room for up to five or six of the contract veterinarians at maximum, though they might not all work at the clinic full time. The project also will include exam rooms for diagnosis and basic radiologic tests and two surgery suites. Possible alternates that the university is considering include making improvements to the building's exterior, adding a vacuum pump, adding a fire alarm system, installing surgical lights, adding electronic access control for the entry doors, including an additional exam area, adding an entrance vestibule, and adding fire hydrants.
Some portion of the clinic's operating costs would be paid for by an endowment to the School of Veterinary Medicine, Slinker says.
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