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County Moves Forward to Build New Animal Shelter
updated: Feb 28, 2017, 11:47 AM

Source: San Luis Obispo County

The design and construction of a new public animal shelter is moving forward now that the County of San Luis Obispo and local cities have agreed on estimated costs, and the County has selected a firm to manage the project.

On Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the seven incorporated cities in San Luis Obispo County and allocated funds to replace the only countywide public animal shelter, located on Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay.

The Board of Supervisors also on Tuesday approved a contract with the construction management firm, Kitchell, to provide master architectural and project/construction management services through the design build process. This will be the County's first-ever design-build project. The design build process has many advantages for public works projects and this progressive approach will be a more cost-effective and efficient way of constructing this facility, County officials say.

"Unfortunately, the costs to fix the existing facility are so great that it makes more sense to replace the building," said Assistant County Administrative Officer Guy Savage. "Now that we all agree on estimated costs and have selected a firm to manage this project, we can build a new facility that will better benefit the animals in our care and encourage more people to visit and adopt animals or reclaim their lost pets."

The estimated project construction costs are about $13.7 million, according to the staff report. "$13.7 million is a lot of money. Fortunately, there is a team in place that includes city representatives, to ensure that the facility is constructed in the most cost-effective manner possible," Savage said.

The County provides animal services for the entire region, including all seven cities. These services include animal care and control services, as well as a single animal shelter to house and care for stray and owner- relinquished animals. -MORE- This shelter is the only public open intake animal shelter in San Luis Obispo County and receives approximately 4,500 animals annually. The new shelter site will be located just east of Woods Humane Society.

Industry standards and public expectations of animal shelters have shifted substantially since the shelter was originally built in 1975. Many of the shelter's original design features and characteristics are now outdated or inconsistent with the current understanding of humane animal sheltering.

The current shelter has a variety of structural problems including a leaky roofs, deteriorating walls and door frames, and overloaded drainage systems. It also doesn't meet new codes required by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The new animal shelter will continue to be operated by County staff and serve all jurisdictions in San Luis Obispo County, including the incorporated cities. For more information, visit www.slocounty.ca.gov.

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