Ground-breaking event: Jim Stuart, ACHS board member; Liz Holm, campaign co-chair; Jackie Rose, executive director, ACHS; Sarah Cowan, senior vice president, National Bank of Middlebury; Michael Bard, USDA representative.
The Addison County Humane Society broke ground today for a new renovation and expansion project. The project will increase the facility’s square footage by 65 percent to care for Addison County’s homeless, abandoned and abused animals. The new space is expected to be ready for occupancy in spring 2012.
The current facility, located at 236 Boardman Street, Middlebury, was built in 1990. Although the shelter was originally designed to house 60 animals, the overcrowded space is now shared by 140 cats, dogs, rabbits and hamsters. “In 20 years the shelter has become outdated and inefficient and has fallen far below contemporary standards and requirements for optimal animal care,” said Jackie Rose, executive director, ACHS. “The existing building cannot provide the level of services demanded by the community or an environment that ideally promotes adoption.”
The new facility will include: Entrance/reception area to welcome guests and potential adopters; Intake/admission area which will provide greater privacy for persons needing to surrender their pet and/or the intake of stray or lost animals; Incoming area designated for all newly admitted animals, providing quiet space for new animals to adjust to the facility and be medically cleared for adoption; “Meet & Greet” rooms for potential adopters to play and become familiar with animals they are considering for adoption; Medical quarantine area; Expanded medical examination room; “Cat Land” housing (free range, cage-free rooms) and public viewing area for cats that are available for adoption; Separate “Dog Barn” offering housing (14 kennels) and public viewing area for dogs that are available for adoption; Education/Conference Room for meetings, humane education/training events, resource library; Private bereavement room; Office space for staff and volunteers with adequate furnishing and computers to allow for efficient daily operations; Expanded laundry and storage areas
For the past year, ACHS has been quietly conducting a capital campaign to raise the $1.12 million needed to design and build the new addition and renovate existing space. Called the “Homeward Bound Campaign,” ACHS is more than halfway towards its goal. The Homeward Bound Campaign is now moving into its public phase whereby community members will be asked to make donations large and small.
“Over the years we’ve had great support from the community through the shelter’s well-established events such as Woofstock and Ruff Ride. Proceeds from those events go towards our every day operating expenses,” said Jackie Rose. “During the next 3 to 24 months we’ll be creating several new promotions and events with the goals of raising awareness and soliciting donations specifically earmarked for the construction project. In the next few weeks several hay bale animal sculptures will appear around the county with these goals in mind.”
The renovation and expansion was designed by Middlebury architect Thomas Warner. Project management and general contractor services are provided by Jeremiah Beach Parker Restoration & Construction Management Corporation located in Shoreham.