MSU board hires firm to build veterinary medicine critical care unit

Contact: Frederik Derksen, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, (517) 353-0645,; or Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 355-2281,

Nov 12, 2004

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State University has tapped a Grand Rapids construction company to build an addition to the Veterinary Clinical Center that will provide state-of-the-art critical care for horses and other large animals.

At its Nov. 12 meeting, the MSU Board of Trustees approved a contract worth more than $3.2 million with the Fryling Construction Co. to build the Matilda R. Wilson Pegasus Critical Care Center.

When completed, the center will allow the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine to provide critical care to horses and other large animals with infectious diseases, as well as teaching and research opportunities for faculty and students in an approximately 9,000-square-foot facility.

Among the features of the center: A specialized ventilation system that will prevent the spread of infectious diseases; modern manure disposal facilities; 10 individual isolation stalls; and on-site clinical pathology laboratories.

The center will also house a conference room equipped with video equipment that will not only enhance teaching, but will allow clients to visit their sick animals.

"This will give clients access to their animals without having to worry about the spreading of infectious diseases," said Frederik Derksen, a professor of large animal clinical sciences who has been involved in the project since its inception.

The conference room is named in honor of Linda and David Mehney of Grand Rapids who have been long-time supporters of the college.

The center is named in honor of a former member of the MSU Board of Trustees whose foundation donated $5 million to the center. Wilson was on the MSU board from 1931 through 1937. Pegasus was the name of one of her favorite harness ponies.

The donation from the Matilda R. Wilson Fund will cover construction of the facility as well as endow "Wilson Scholars" - residents who will care for critically ill animals.

Wilson left the bulk of her estate to the Matilda R. Wilson Fund, which has supported a number of projects in the College of Veterinary Medicine, including the Matilda R. Wilson Chair, which is held by N. Edward Robinson, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, and the Meadowbrook Endowed Chair in Farm Animal Health and Well Being, which is held by Lorraine Sordillo-Gandy.

In addition, MSU has honored the Wilson Family by naming residence halls - Wilson East and Wilson West - and a thoroughfare - Wilson Road - after them.

The new center will be located in the southwest corner of the existing Veterinary Clinical Center, which is located at the corner of Wilson Road and Bogue Street.

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