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Design Options Presented for New Animal Shelter
Thursday, 3 August 2017
| County News & Features | | | 0 Comments

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently saw a presentation that included four design options for the construction, outfitting, operations and maintenance of a new Animal Shelter.

The current shelter, built in 1975 and expanded in 1990, receives 85,000 visitors and 4,100 animals per year. The main shelter is 6,646 square feet with two modular buildings and 12 outbuildings included in the complex; and there are currently 16 double-sided and 14 single-sided dog kennels and eight double-sided and 77 single-sided cat kennels.

Recognizing that the current shelter inadequately meets the needs of the animals, employees and visitors to the facility, the Board directed staff in June 2016 to come up with design options that address those needs. The design team included the Department of Public Works, as well as Cole & Denny Architects and Jackson & Ryan Architects, which both have significant experience with the design of animal shelters throughout the country, including Fairfax County's animal shelter.

All of the options provided to the Board of County Supervisors would include double-sided dog and double-sided cat kennels, which would allow for efficient cleaning and expanded space for animals. The various options also meet state and local requirements to varying degrees. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians, or ASV, establishes standards of animal care; the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, or VDACS, determines state veterinary requirements; and a recent internal county audit all helped to determine the county's requirements.

Option A, the least expensive, would cost $11.35 million and would include 18,000 square feet of new construction to replace the existing shelter, which would be torn down when the new construction is complete. The expansion would allow for 90 cat kennels, 40 dog kennels and dedicated space for animal isolation, quarantine and recovery. This option would retain and use some of the outbuildings to meet space needs, but veterinarian and office space would be limited. Option A would fully meet VDACS requirements and mostly meet the internal audit and ASV requirements.

Option B would renovate the interior of the current shelter and add 17,782 square feet of new buildings to the complex. The new buildings would be separate from the existing shelter, which would remain in place, and would cost $12 million. The renovation and new buildings would include a welcoming adoption lobby, a multi-purpose room for staff and community enrichment, 90 cat kennels and 40 dog kennels. Partial interior building renovation would be required under this option. Operations would be split between the existing shelter and new facilities once construction is completed. The renovations to the existing shelter would allow for some veterinarian and office space, and would include an additional 16 cat kennels and 15 dog kennels for isolation, quarantine and recovery. The existing building, which is nearing the end of its useful life, will need major maintenance in the next five to 10 years. Option B would fully meet the requirements of the ASV and VDACS and mostly meet the county's internal audit.

Option C would build a new 28,105-square-foot shelter to replace the old shelter and all of the out buildings. The new shelter would have 106 cat kennels and 56 dog kennels. The building would include a welcoming adoption lobby and provide complete space for veterinarian and office space, as well as dedicated space for animal isolation, quarantine and recovery. The building would also include a multi-purpose room. The new construction would cost $14 million. Option C would meet all state and local requirements.

Option D would include renovation to the existing shelter and add 21,769 square feet of new construction with 96 cat kennels and 47 dog kennels. The renovation to the existing building would include a new roof, new walls, new dog kennels and new windows. Option D would include 3,813 square feet of offsite adoption space with 10 cat kennels and eight dog kennels in each of two new buildings. Construction and renovation would allow for a welcoming adoption lobby, complete veterinarian and office space, dedicated animal isolation, quarantine and recovery, and a multipurpose room. Option D would meet all state and local requirements at a total cost of $16 million.

All of the options would allow operations to continue during construction and would reuse the recently updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the current shelter.

The Board will consider taking action on the proposed options during their evening meeting on Sept. 19, 2017. If the Board adopts an option at that time, the cost of the new shelter would be budgeted and appropriated and a design contract would be authorized.

To view the presentation made to the Board of County Supervisors, visit

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