Pierpont Reveals Plan for Veterinarian Technology Expansion at Caperton Center

Pierpont Reveals Plan for Veterinarian Technology Expansion at Caperton Center

FAIRMONT — At Tuesday’s Pierpont Community & Technical College Board of Governors meeting, officials revealed the plans for the school’s upgraded $2 million veterinarian technology facility at the Caperton Center in Clarksburg. The plans were presented by Pierpont Chief Financial Officer Dale Bradley, who said that in addition to upgrading treatment facilities and the lab, the new location will have a surgery room, isolation room, kennels and a reception area similar to those at real veterinarian offices.
 
Bradley said the plans are nearly finalized after several drafts.
 
“We don’t believe the design process is going to change much at all now,” he said. “We’ve went through four reiterations of the design, and our vet tech faculty members have been intimately involved with that, and the architects have worked with them on the design. Now, it’s just a matter of putting the rubber to the road, so to speak.”
 
Pierpont Veterinarian Technology Program Coordinator Anna Romano said that while the new amenities are much needed, the best part of the new facility is the amount of space the program will have, finally moving out of the basement of Hunt Hall on the main campus, which Romano said used to be a boiler room.
 
“The numbers we can take in are dictated by the space we have,” Romano said. “With more space, we can have more students without craziness. That’s what I’m most looking forward to.”
 
With more than 60 students and assistants, Romano said they need all the room they can get, and other new features, like lockers and a student study space, will really give the program the boost it needs to take things to the next level.
 
“We need to be functioning in a modern setting,” Romano said. “The facilities we’re in were never, ever designed for vet tech programs, and we’ve been there for 40 years. Not much has changed since then, so it’s about time.”
 
Michael Waide, dean of Pierpont’s School of Health Careers, said the new facility will allow the program, which has received national recognition in the past, the chance to truly grow for the first time in decades.
 
“As you look at the design, it places the student into the center of the veterinarian practice,” Waide said. “It emulates a real veterinarian hospital, where the student is hands-on, as well as receives that emulated vet experience. Students who are participating in veterinarian surgery can be observed by students who are behind the scenes watching.
 
“Everything is existing around that treatment, which for us has always been that philosophical reason that we exist in health care, to provide that high quality, top notch care, and out vet program has demonstrated that.”
 
However, while the plans for the new facility are nearly finalized, officials don’t yet know when renovations will start.
 
“It’s to be determined,” Bradley said. “I don’t know when we’ll be able to put a final green light on it. We’re putting together the funding a little bit, and there are some other things we have to figure out related to facilities. Once we have those few things firmed up, we can put a green light on it and move it forward.”
 
While Romano hopes to be in the new facility by the 2018 fall semester, she’s really just happy to finally have a facility she can be proud of, and is glad that the school pulled the trigger on giving the vet tech programs the amenities it deserves.
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