AURELIUS — A site plan was accepted for a new Cayuga Veterinary Services practice building during an Aurelius planning board meeting on Tuesday.
The veterinary practice, currently located at 1532 Clark Street Rd., is looking to merge with 1538 Clark Street Rd. — a neighboring parcel already owned by the practice — to build a new, larger, building. Currently the parcels house a residential home and the vet hospital. The plan is to tear down the home and to keep the current vet practice building for now, and in the future utilize it for additional vet services or potentially rent to another business.
Rachel Hendricks, practice administrator at Cayuga Veterinary Services, told the planning board the proposed one-story building would more than double the current square footage of the practice which is needed as it is over-exceeding all its benchmarks.
"What we're building is what we need right now and not (accounting for) growth," Hendricks said. "I don't think what we're building is going to last us more than a couple more years."
Hendricks explained the expansion will enable the practice to take more appointments and give the ability to stagger them more — especially since the new building will have five more exam rooms than the current one. Along with the physical expansion to meet demand, Cayuga Veterinary Services is looking to offer more services and appointment slots per week, and is considering expanding Saturday hours and even adding Sunday hours in the future, Hendricks said.
There will also be separate entries for cats and dogs, which is an improvement as Hendricks said "the way we're doing it now is not as stress free as it should be for the animals."
"We're not meeting the demand that we have, and are having to turn too many clients away because we don't have the time or space," Hendricks said. "We don't have the space to add another doctor ... so we need to build another building to add another doctor to see more appointments.
"This is going to help our flow of what we're doing, and the (current) building looks like we're doing 1970s' medicine, and we're not," Hendricks said. "We're the only hospital in central New York that has laparoscopes (minimal invasive surgery), so we're doing laparoscopic surgery, we do acupuncture, so we're doing a lot of cutting edge procedures ... so this is kind of to update our outside to our inside."
The only potential concern expressed by Aurelius' planning board had to do with traffic due to the fact that the practice is off of a road with a 55 mph speed limit. Other than that concern, Aurelius Planning Board Chairman Jerry Scouten said it was "a good site plan," and the board passed a motion to accept the site plan as presented to the board on Tuesday. Aurelius will forward the site plan on to the county and other necessary agencies to move the process along, Scouten said.
Scouten also advised that Cayuga Veterinary Services "go forward with the merger as soon as possible," to join the parcels.
Guy Donahoe, the architect for the project, agreed and said that as soon as the parcels are merged, he is ready with building plans to get started and is just waiting on the official approval of the board and the building permit.