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An animal health-and-wellness center to be operated in collaboration with Minuteman High School students and professional staff from Boston Veterinary Clinic (BVC) has tentative plans to open on the Minuteman campus in Lexington in the fall of 2023, Minuteman Superintendent-Director Edward A. Bouquillon and clinic CEO Paul Mataras have announced.

The partnership and opening of the animal clinic mark a milestone for Minuteman’s animal-science career major, which launched last fall. The clinic will be in the East Campus Building, which is separate from the main school building, with its own parking area and easy access for patients and pet parents.

'A clear need'

“Many young people are passionate about animal welfare, and there is a clear need for skilled professionals in this growing field,” Bouquillon said in a June 29 news release. “Thanks to this wonderful partnership with Boston Veterinary Clinic, our students will get valuable hands-on learning experience, provide an important public service, contribute to the local economy and help countless dogs, cats and other animals with their health-and- wellness needs.”

There is a large demand for skilled workers in the animal science field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 16 percent by 2029, which is much faster than the 4 percent growth rate for all occupations combined.

Doggies

Cat“We are excited to work with the Minuteman team of educators in this first-of-its-kind partnership,” Mataras said. “It allows us to continue our expansion in Greater Boston, adding BVC Lexington to our network, while also bringing our high-level training program, focused on fear-free primary care, to the future leaders of veterinary medicine.”

In 2018, Minuteman was granted special legislation to allow the school district to enter into long-term leases with mission-compatible business partners. By doing so, Minuteman can provide a lease to a business partner that will incorporate a career technical education program into its business model, thus increasing opportunities for students and expanding the school’s enrollment. Reflecting a statewide trend in career technical education schools, Minuteman is experiencing an enrollment waitlist for the first time in recent memory.

Multiple bills are pending in the State House that would allow career technical-education schools to expand their ability to provide long-term leases to business partners from five to 25 years, including House bills 4542 and 4864.

The pending opening of the Minuteman/BVC animal clinic remains subject to local and state licensing approvals. Representatives from BVC and the Minuteman signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this month. The Minuteman School Committee voted unanimously in favor of proceeding with the MOU in a public meeting on May 17, following a presentation from Mataras and BVC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Brian Bourquin.


This news announcement was published Monday, July 4, 2022.