Rosamond Gifford Zoo Animal Health Center

VIP Structures
Syracuse, NY

Onondaga County and Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo replaced the zoo’s small, in-house veterinary clinic with a free-standing, 20,000-square-foot zoological medical center designed to exceed Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards. The new facility allows zoo staff to host and care for additional and larger/oversized animals in partnership with Cornell University. Additionally, the latest medical environment is surgically compliant with accreditation standards.

The $7.5M animal health center houses a teaching facility, including Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine veterinarians, residents, interns, and students who can practice and teach, a forum for medical and behavioral research, a Children’s Veterinary Clinic, and other public education opportunities. Additionally, the facility features interior and exterior views of animal health and welfare for learners of all ages.

The new facility includes numerous examination rooms and state-of-the-art medical equipment, including a quarantine wing with specialized enclosures for different animal types that provide enrichment for animals in recovery and a specialized loading and unloading area for the safety and containment of animals in transport. Site work included vehicular and pedestrian circulation to maintain separation between the public observation and the private back-of-house functions.

EDR site planning, design, and engineering services included Siting considerations for the new building to accommodate underground public utility restrictions, integrating stormwater management systems using naturalized solutions to make the most of views of the City, and providing safe connections for transporting new animals to the already housed at the zoo for treatment.