By Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on September 11, 2020
Construction of the new Dare County Animal Shelter on Roanoke Island is underway and expected to be complete around April 1, according to county officials. Savings achieved during construction is also expected to shave between $100,000 and $200,000 off the building’s original price tag of $4.5 million.
The 8,727-square-foot shelter, located on Airport Road across from the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and adjacent to Dare County’s Emergency Operations Center, will have features that include roll-up doors to provide fresh air for the animals, open space and pea gravel in exercise areas. The building will also have a dog wash room where, for a small donation, the public can bring their dogs in for a bath.
Once the building is complete, the Outer Banks SPCA will be able to begin moving in to prepare for the opening.
“We really can’t wait,” said Director of Shelter Operations Chrissea Rothrock. “It can’t come soon enough for the animals and staff.” Rothrock said she anticipates that with its location near the aquarium, the shelter will have more visitors and in turn, more adoptions.
The facility will replace the badly outdated and flood-prone shelter that is currently located on Driftwood Drive. The architect for the project, Waller, Todd & Sadler, also designed the state-of-the-art Currituck County animal shelter that opened back in early 2016.
“They’re making good progress,” said County Manager Bobby Outten of the project, noting that the preliminary brick work is complete and the walls of the building are up.
“We’re thrilled,” added Bobbie Stager, president of the Outer Banks SPCA’s Board of Directors. “Having the support of the county to continue the animal welfare work of the SPCA in Dare County is heartwarming…For the [SPCA], the people who have their feet on the ground, this will have a huge impact on what they do every day. Not flooding, having more space and not being crammed will be amazing.”
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company of Baltimore, Md., which also oversaw the construction of the Dare County Emergency Operations Center in 2016, is playing the same role with the shelter project. And along with Dare County Project Manager Brent Johnson, Whiting-Turner has been able to achieve some cost savings on the project, County Finance Director David Clawson told the Dare County Board of Commissioners during its Sept. 8 meeting.
At the meeting, commissioners approved eight change orders to the construction contract, seven of which amounted to a cost reduction of $160,747. The eighth change order was to add roughly $83,000 to contract to pave the driveway from Airport Road to the building rather than use gravel. An additional $49,621 was saved under a furniture, fixtures and equipment line item, partly due to the reuse of 60 stainless steel cat cages.
The county also opted to eliminate plans for K-9 AstroTurf in the exercise areas – a feature that would have cost $26,935. Instead, Clawson said, pea gravel or grass will be used.
The new shelter is being built on the property that formerly housed the Roanoke Island Dog Park, which was re-located to the west of the new shelter and opened in June to the public. The park has two fenced areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs.
The brick and block building will include internal metal framing and some acoustical ceiling work, as well as a significant mechanical package due to the need for recycled air in the kennel area. Rothrock noted that better and cleaner airflow for the cats and dogs will help prevent disease and sickness among the animals.