Animal hospital breaks ground

Elkins and Randolph County officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new animal hospital in the Elkins Railyard Monday morning.

Construction on the new Appalachian Animal Hospital was officially marked as officials stood before a small crowd and announced the creation of the hospital. Robbie Morris, executive director of the Randolph County Development Authority, described the project.

“We are very pleased to have this animal hospital,” he said. “It’s going to lend a lot to downtown Elkins.”

Following Morris’s speech, Tonya White, owner of the current Appalachian Animal Hospital on Harrison Avenue, talked about the new structure.

“We are really excited to get this project underway,” she said.

The new facility will cover approximately 6,000 square feet and will include state-of-the-art technologies, White said. Boarding and grooming will be available at the new hospital, which will feature boarding rooms and wards for hospitalized animals.

In addition, White said a new animal treatment area will allow advanced surgical procedures to be performed.

“This is going to make us more functional,” she said.

The current hospital is located in a renovated house, and therefore has little space for extended animal care. Owners will also find more space at the new hospital in the form of waiting rooms.

A final cost for the project has not yet been established, White said.

The land for the new location was purchased from the RCDA and paid for by the Appalachian Animal Hospital, and White said there are no grants associated with the project.

Presently, the lot is being cleared for building construction.

White said construction will begin in April and is scheduled to be finished by December. When the new location is ready to open, the Harrison Avenue office will be closed and services will be moved entirely to the Railyard location.

During Monday’s ceremony, White was presented with an Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce member plaque, commemorating the event. It was given to her by Kate Reed, executive director of the chamber.