New dairy complex, relocation approved by VT Board of Visitors - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

New dairy complex, relocation approved by VT Board of Visitors

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The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a resolution on Monday accepting design plans to replace the existing dairy complex on Southgate Drive with new, state-of-the-art facilities at nearby Kentland Farm.

The plan calls for a replacement of existing buildings on a 35-acre site that can accommodate a fully functioning lactating herd of 230 and takes advantage of Kentland Farm's proximity to feed production and grazing lands, among other things.

The relocation of the dairy will make way for the planned development of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, the expansion of the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport, and the construction of a new interchange at Southgate Drive and Route 460. The new $14 million dairy complex is being paid for through non-general funds. Construction will begin this fall and is expected to be completed by 2015.

The General Assembly has also approved planning money for the next phase of construction that will include a dairy-focused teaching facility located near Plantation Road, a reproduction facility near campus, and an intensive research barn focused on metabolism at Kentland Farm. For this project titled Kentland Facilities Improvements, the university has received pre-planning money to engage in initial planning and design. University Design and Construction and the Building Steering Committee in September started the process of selecting an architecture and engineering firm to undertake the re-planning design. The pre-planning will progress into late spring 2014, and at that time the university will submit a proposal the General Assembly for detailed design and construction.

The design approved Monday by the Board of Visitors calls for an efficient use of space and buildings that are either traditional-style pole barns or pre-engineered steel structures. Cows will be milked in an 11,900-square-foot barn with a double-12 parallel milking parlor. Feeding will occur in a 46,400-square-foot housing barn. Other buildings include a calf barn, a special needs barn, and maintenance facilities. A state of the art nutrient management system will include a hydraulic flushing system, sand bedding and recovery, and a weeping wall for solids collection.

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