AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The idea for the veterinary school started back in the 70s, but nothing was done until 2014. Now, in almost exactly one year, the building will be ready to welcome the first class of the new Texas Tech Veterinary School of Medicine.
The dean of the new school says this program will be unique, because the building is being designed for the curriculum they plan to instate.
“Our program is designed to be very hands on. Students will spend more time in teaching than in the classroom, so it’s really designed around a very modern curriculum,” said Guy H. Loneragan, Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine dean.
The school hired 24 professors, three of which start today, and will hire a total of 70 as the program progresses. They expect to get the school accredited early this fall, and once they receive the accreditation, they will open applications and leave them open through December.
The school will have a main campus and one about two miles away designed for working on larger animals like horses, cattle, pigs and sheep.
“Our tuition will be $22,000 a year. That includes all the student fees that go along with that as well. That makes it an expensive program, but it makes it one of the least expensive programs in the nation,” said Loneragan.
The dean says the reason they wanted to make the program affordable was to attract more first-generation students from rural Texas that may not have an opportunity to obtain a higher education elsewhere.
“The annual economic impact for Amarillo is around $76 million per year that the school will have on the region,” said Loneragan.
There were bids from national builders for the contract company that would build the campus. The local company, Western Builders, was able to win that bid and is now working on both buildings.
“We have been able to keep most of our subcontractors local. There are a few things we don’t have a market for here in Amarillo, but for the items we do have here, we are at about 100 percent of local representation.” said Brandon Robertson, project director for Western Builders
Robertson says the pandemic brought on procedural challenges, but they have been able to get all the materials needed while staying on budget and on track with the project.