Reid Park Zoo announces plans for Health Science Center

Reid Park Zoo announces plans for Health Science Center
Blueprints of the plan. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
Blueprints of the plan. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
A rendering of the remodeled exterior of the clinic along with the addition. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
A rendering of the remodeled exterior of the clinic along with the addition. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
A rendering of a treatment area, with an observation room for students. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
A rendering of a treatment area, with an observation room for students. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
A rendering of new classroom, which will allow University of Arizona students to learn about animal health and observe procedures in treatment, surgery and lab. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
A rendering of new classroom, which will allow University of Arizona students to learn about animal health and observe procedures in treatment, surgery and lab. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Animal care at Reid Park Zoo is taking a huge leap forward.

The zoo on Friday released plans for a $3.8 million Health Science Center.

Additions include more room and better equipment to care for the zoo animals, but students at the University of Arizona, which has been trying to open a veterinary school, will benefit too.

Clara Cobb, marketing and communications director for the Reid Park Zoological Society, said the new Health Science Center will usher in a new standard of health care at the zoo.

"We're making a huge leap forward," the Reid Park Zoological Society said in a news release. "We're planning a larger, better designed, more advanced Animal Health Center that will meet Zoo residents' needs now and for many years to come."

The zoo's new Animal Health Center will also teach the veterinarians. In partnership with the University of Arizona, students from the new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Education Program will have the opportunity to train in whole-life animal care by observing and assisting in the Health Center.

Some of the features of the new $3.85 million, 9,000 square foot facility are:

• Roomy treatment and surgical areas (designed surgical suite), with hydraulic tables to make it easier to treat large animals

• On-site lab for provide vital diagnostic data in minutes

• Post-op/ICU units with adjustable heat, humidity and oxygen levels

• Digital imaging to produce X-Rays fast, with less radiation exposure

• Education room with floor-to-ceiling windows for real-time observation of procedures

• Quarantine/isolation areas with independent airflow systems to prevent cross-contamination

• Specialized holding areas for aquatic species, primates and powerful animals

• Video surveillance so staff can monitor ill animals without disturbing them

• Skylights to help patients maintain their normal diurnal/nocturnal patterns

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.