Layout for animal shelter revealed at meeting
by Glenn Moore
Jun 07, 2013 | 1480 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shelter preview
Ron Silva, co-president of Animal Rescue of Tracy, reviews schematics of a new animal shelter on display during a meeting at Tracy City Hall on Wednesday, June 5.  Mike Pellat/For the Tracy Press
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Architects displayed the proposed design for the new animal shelter to a group of about 30 people gathered at Tracy City Hall on Wednesday, June 5, for the second meeting to discuss the project.

Residents got their first glimpse of the plan for the interior layout and what the $3.2 million shelter will have to offer.

Bruce Playle, of Indigo Hammond & Playle Architects, said the construction schedule has been adjusted and the revised timeline will have the shelter completed by late fall 2014.

A discussion with the city revised the schedule, calling for completion about six months earlier than originally planned.

Playle called the timeline “pretty aggressive” and said bids for the project should be out by the end of the first week of January.

“We will all have to work on it to keep it moving along including the approval of the schematics on June 18,” he said.

The construction will be in two phases. In the first, a 6,000-square-foot-shelter will be constructed on an acre of land at Paradise and Grant Line roads.

Candace Harrison, with Indigo Hammond & Playle Architects, said the first phase of the new shelter is a pre-engineered metal building with an 8,400-square-foot roof.

Harrison said the building is a low-cost solution, with the 6,000-square-foot shelter constructed inside the metal shell.

The metal roof will extend over the outdoor portion of the dog kennels, keeping them covered and out of the sun and bad weather but still allowing air circulation.

The shelter will have 32 dog kennels grouped in rooms of eight kennels separated and not facing each other to reduce barking and stress on the dogs.

There will also be a separate room for puppies and small-breed dogs.

Playle said part of the design process was to make the shelter a destination people would want to visit.

“What it should do is express some element of fun,” Playle said. “We’re not going out to the sewage treatment plant anymore to look at animals.”

The kennels will have swinging, saloon-style double doors, priced at $500 each, that let dogs travel between indoor and outdoor areas while allowing the staff to keep the building air-conditioned.

Natural light will be used illuminate the cat cages and dog kennels, to limit energy costs in the building.

Kate Hurley, part of the shelter design team from the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at University of California, said she was excited about the design for the project that they have been part of from the ground up.

Even with cost constraints and challenges, the group has a solid core to start with, she said.

“If we were building a car, we would have a beautiful engine with all the best parts,” she said. “We just need to work on the trim”

Not included in the first phase of construction is a veterinary area that has been delayed for the $4.6 million second phase.

Ron Silva, co-president of Animal Rescue of Tracy, was concerned about the lack of a medical facility.

“Functionally, it’s going to be a much better shelter for the animals that come in from the community in here. This will benefit the animals and the rescue groups that work with the shelter,” Silva said. “It’s almost a critical component of the operation that we are trying to get them to understand — it’s part of the overall success rate of being able to find homes for healthy pets.”

But most agreed that the new shelter design is a big improvement from the shelter at 370 Arbor Road.

The shelter proposal is headed to the City Council for approval at the June 18 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.

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