Time to weigh in on new animal shelter

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By Jennifer Garcia

Plans to construct a new animal shelter are moving forward in order to give homeless pets a new place to call home.


County staff hosted an Animal Shelter Schematic Design Open House at the Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club facility at 246 East Road Wednesday evening.


Drawings were on display for the public to review. They also had an opportunity to present ideas to county staff.


Friends of the Shelter board member Sally Wilkins was delighted with the process surrounding the project.


“Don Russo, the project manager for the new shelter has been very inclusive with the Friends of the Shelter,” she said. “He’s included our ideas and allowed us to participate in meetings with the architects. We’ve been very pleased with the process and with the outcome given the constraints of a fairly small budget.”


County council awarded the project to the team of Klinger Constructors, LLC and Mullen Heller Architecture PC at a council meeting on Sept. 9.


The proposed contract amount was $933,535, plus applicable gross receipts tax. The animal shelter will be constructed at 246 East Road.


In addition, council approved a $1,278,380 project budget and directed staff to return an associated budget revision to formally revise the animal shelter project budget.


It was further moved that council authorize County Administrator Max Baker to execute the Associated Design-Build Contract documentation in a form acceptable to the county attorney.


The new shelter will have space for 14 dogs, four more than the current facility, Wilkins said. It also will house at least 20 cats in a communal area and care for another 16 in cages for felines that require isolation.


The next step in the process is for the schematic design to be presented to council on Nov. 18.


The county has posted the schematic design drawings to their website at www.losalamosnm.us today and encourages the public to submit their comments on the drawings via e-mail to lacpw@lacnm.us, or by mail to Animal Shelter Project, P.O. Box 30, Los Alamos, NM 87544.