The University of Guelph will receive $23 million from the provincial government to support critical infrastructure renewal at the top-ranked Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

Prez Vaccarino, Ministers Liz Sandals and Reza Moridi The funding was announced Friday by Reza Moridi, minister of training, colleges and universities, and Liz Sandals, minister of education and MPP for Guelph.

The money will support renovation and expansion at OVC, including new spaces for enhanced clinical teaching and learning and advanced surgery and anesthesia facilities.

“This investment will give students access to the state-of-the art facilities they need to prepare for successful careers as practitioners and researchers,” Moridi said.

Sandals said the funding will allow the college to continue “providing students with hands-on, interactive learning experiences and research opportunities that improve our quality of life.”

OVC is ranked fourth in the world among veterinary schools, and first in Canada, by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) in its annual global survey of nearly 900 universities.

The University had asked the government for $23 million toward a $33-million plan to address infrastructure deficiencies at the veterinary college. OVC plans to raise the additional $10 million, with $6.5 million already committed.

“We are extremely grateful to the Ontario government for this strategic investment in the future of health and veterinary medicine,” said president Franco Vaccarino.

“OVC is the province’s only veterinary medical college. This critical funding will support our continued accreditation. It will also help us maintain our leadership position in innovative education and research, and in understanding the powerful connection between animal and human health.”

OVC dean Jeff Wichtel said the University and OVC have invested in research to remain at the leading edge of learning, care and discovery, but improvements to physical spaces have not kept pace.

“Current and future veterinarians must have the skills and knowledge required to meet the health demands of our province. This requires state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and innovative learning and training programs,” he said.

The project will include new laboratory and classroom spaces equipped for computer-based case studies, patient simulators and demonstration models.

Modern surgery and anesthesia areas will be built in renovated spaces, and the college will install new equipment and improved biosecurity and infection control.

“The new facilities will ensure that OVC continues to help protect the health of people in Ontario through research, disease prevention and a safe food supply,” Wichtel said.