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After 2011 Fire, CSU Equine Reproduction Lab to be Rebuilt

Colorado State University
Artist's Rendering of new Equine Reproductive Lab at CSU

Colorado State University has begun constructing a new Equine Reproduction Laboratory on the Foothills campus after a fire in 2011 destroyed the original building.

Officials have ruled the fire's cause as “undetermined.” The Coloradoan reports that the loss of real estate, research equipment and genetic materials being stored for clients were estimated at $12 million dollars. After the 2011 fire CSU offered clients without insurance $1,000 in credit toward services to counter the lost property of embryos, stallion semen or oocytes, if they agreed not to sue the university.

"I think that in general the client relationships have remained pretty good," said Dr. Colin Clay, head of the Biomedial Sciences department which encompasses the ERL.

"Some clients took us up on the credit, and certainly some cases are more complicated...but heck we had a breeding season that we are just finishing, so business has been doing quite well," said Clay.

At almost 12,000-square-feet, the new building will be nearly double the size of the former, including a fire-retardant room to house genetic material from the horses that are bred and treated there. The Equine Reproduction Laboratory will also offer a stallion collection center, a mare exam and laboratory room and microbiology and molecular labs.

"What is amazing to me is how rapidly they responded... and how quickly teaching and research resumed. The University has been quite supportive, its going to be a wonderful new facility," Clay said. 

A press release by CSU says that horses from around the world are treated by ERL experts, who “work to develop new technology to preserve their bloodlines.”

The cost to CSU is estimated at $5 million. Insurance will pay a majority of the price tag, with fund raising efforts to make up the difference.

Construction is expected to be completed by March 2013 in time for the main part of the breeding season. Coloradoan Reporter Madeline Novey tweet this picture of the start of construction yesterday:

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