CEDAR FALLS — Staff and patients at Cedar Valley Veterinary Center are enjoying more elbow room after relocating from their longtime home.
The pet clinic, which opened at West First and Tremont streets in 1981, is settling into its spacious new quarters in a remodeled warehouse near the intersection of West 18th and State streets.
“We had physically just grown out of our britches,” said Dr. Clifton Paulsen, who bought the practice from founder Jim Kenyon in 2013.
“I tried to stay on First Street, where the business had been for 30-plus years, but it did not work out,” Paulsen said. “I explored about everything that I possibly could. There was not a place to expand there.”
Feedback on the new 9,000-square-foot clinic, which is three times the size of the former building, has been positive since the doors were opened in November.
“I’m able to get people seen in a more timely manner because I have the added exam rooms,” Paulsen said. “My staff’s happier because we’re not walking on top of one another.
“The whole goal behind the move wasn’t to offer tons of new things. We wanted to do what we do better, and offer the best service that we can.
“Before we had gotten to the point where we were being limited by walls,” he added.
Paulsen began remodeling the former warehouse at 1703 State St. last spring. He also acquired and demolished the adjacent Cedar Falls Record building to provide parking for the clinic and provide a view from 18th Street of the decorative entrance.
The move allowed the Cedar Valley Veterinary Center to grow from three to five exam rooms and add a comfort room for pets and their owners; have double surgery suites; expand its lab; and create a call center away from the front reception desk.
There’s a new isolation room with its own building entrance and air-handling system for dogs and cats with highly contagious diseases. Separate grooming and dental care areas were established.
“We also have an actual ICU now for the truly critical patients,” Paulsen said.
The move also allowed a separate boarding area for cats away from the dogs. It includes a 24-by-24-foot indoor play yard for dogs in the kennel area.
“Two weeks ago when it was 60 below they were still being exercised inside under climate control,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen joined the staff of the Cedar Valley Veterinary Center in 2003 and became a partner in 2009. But his ties to the clinic go back to his days at Cedar Falls High School.
“I’ve been associated with the business from 1991,” he said. “I was a kennel cleaner for Dr. Kenyon.”
Cedar Valley Veterinary Center now has three full-time and one part-time veterinarian on staff and employs 15 to 17 people.