Baker College of Owosso Breaks Ground on New Veterinary Technology Building
July 2, 2020
Photo: Left to Right: Kraig Brueck, Campus Safety Director; Jim Wenzlick, Director of Facilities; Dr. Russ Ritchie, Program Medical Director; Elsie Velazquez, Vet Tech Program Director; Dr. Voula Erfourth, Director of Academic Affairs; Mike Konopacke, Director of Student Affairs; Mary Slingerland, Chair, Baker College of Owosso Board of Regents; Scott Perrin, Project Builder, Perrin Construction, Inc.
Baker College of Owosso is breaking ground on the construction of its new Veterinary Technology facility. The Veterinary Technology program is new to the Owosso campus, beginning fall 2020, with leadership and resources relocating from Baker College of Flint. Additionally, Baker College announced today the addition of Dr. Russell Ritchie to its team, as medical director of the new Owosso Vet Tech program.
The 4,500+-square-foot, stand-alone building will be added to BC’s Owosso campus at 1020 S. Washington St. Construction – led by Perrin Construction, Inc. of Durand, Mich. – is scheduled for July to December 2020, with the first cohort of students utilizing the facility beginning January 2021. The structure will house classrooms, diagnostic labs, offices and treatment, operating and x-ray rooms.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing a new addition to Baker’s Owosso campus…with both the Vet Tech program and its facility,” said Denise Bannan, Ph.D., campus president. “There is a lot of opportunity for students in the veterinary field, and there is need in the Shiawassee County-area for veterinary professionals, so we think this program and this building are coming to the right place at the right time, and we can’t wait to get started.”
The Owosso program will be helmed by Elsie Velazquez, Baker College’s program director of veterinary technology, who is relocating from the Flint campus with the Vet Tech program, and has been with Baker College since 2003.
Joining Velazquez in program oversight, in the role of medical director, will be Dr. Russ Ritchie, a 40-year veteran of veterinary practice in the local area. Dr. Ritchie currently serves as a veterinarian at Animal Health Care in Chesaning, Mich. In his role as medical director, Dr. Ritchie will provide program management, classroom and laboratory instruction, treatment of veterinary patients and direction for all medical decisions.
“Elsie is a seasoned Vet Tech professional and proven leader, and Dr. Ritchie is a well-known and well-loved fixture of the community,” said Voula Erfourth, Ph.D., Baker College director of academic affairs. “We are excited and privileged to have their combined expertise, leadership and care heading our new Vet Tech efforts in Owosso.”
The new Owosso-based Vet Tech program and building, combined with Dr. Ritchie’s commitment and connections to the local community, will be of great benefit to furry and feathered area residents, and their owners. Baker College will work in partnership with the community to provide events, volunteer services from vet tech students, discounted services and more.
Baker College has been training veterinary technicians since 2003. In addition to Owosso, Baker College offers its Vet Tech program at three additional campuses in Cadillac, Jackson and Muskegon, Mich. More information on veterinary technology at Baker is available at the College’s Veterinary Technology program page.