SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Feb. 21, 2014) -- Tails were wagging and a loud round of "a-paws" rang out as the Schofield Barracks Veterinary Treatment Facility (VTF) reopened its doors at Building 936 on Duck Road, here, Tuesday.

Among the distinguished guests in the audience were Maj. Gen. Dean Sienko, commander, U.S. Army Public Health Command, and Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, who both helped with the ceremonial ribbon cutting to officially reintroduce the facility as an upgraded Level II VTF.

"This ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the culmination of more than two years of planning, six months of construction and countless hours of researching equipment, obtaining vendor quotes and ensuring everything arrived on schedule," said Lt. Col. Kevin Bass, commander, Public Health Command District-Central Pacific, the supervising entity for Hawaii VTFs.

"This renovation expands our capacity and improves the efficiency and quality of care that we provide the community," Bass added.

According to Capt. Nathan Chumbler, officer in charge of veterinary services on Schofield, the first veterinary facility/animal lab was built at Building 934, here, in 1968; the following year, the back half of the facility (Building 935) was added as a dog kennel.

Veterinary services were expanded with the construction of Building 936 in 1976, at which time the new facility officially became a VTF, with dog kennel capabilities.

The recent full-scale renovation project began in April 2013. During the six months to follow, veterinary services temporarily were relocated to Building 934, while the interior of Building 936 was completely gutted and rebuilt from the ground up.

Today, said Chumbler, the new facility provides enhanced veterinary services to the Soldiers, civilians and family members of USAG-HI, thanks to updated clinical and information technology (IT) equipment.

"(The VTF) is capable of providing wellness and sick-call examinations, radiographic and ultrasonographic diagnostics, as well as basic surgical operations to the community of USAG-HI," said Chumbler. "The facility also is equipped to provide full comprehensive care to military working dogs of the 520th Military Working Dog Detachment (728th Military Police Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command) and the other kennels stationed throughout the island of Oahu."

The ceremony concluded with a presentation of certificates of appreciation to Dan Perron, project manager, Tripler Army Medical Center Facility Management Team; Chelsie Seo, initial outfitting coordinator; and Chad Henderson, project manager, Designer Built Systems, for dedication and support of the project.

The Schofield Barracks Veterinary Treatment Facility is located in Building 936 on Duck Road, Schofield Barracks, off Lyman Road. Hours of operation are between 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. To schedule an appointment or for additional information, call 808-655-5889/5893.