Carson City Animal shelter on track for Dec. 2015 opening

Design and construction of Carson City’s planned animal shelter got on a fast track with approval Thursday of a $311,995 contract.

The Board of Supervisors voted without dissent to forge an agreement with BDA Architecture, P.C., of New Mexico to do the architectural work and other oversight functions on the $3.9 million Animal Control Facility, which could be built by a year from now if all goes well. The target date for completion is Dec. 15, 2015, said Robert Fellows of the city’s Public Works Department.

“It won’t derail or change other projects,” Fellows replied to Supervisor John McKenna, who asked if the one-year time frame would slow down other capital improvement plans. Fellows did acknowledge the original target date was for a 2016 completion and said this earlier date requires following “a very aggressive schedule.”

McKenna had a specific project in mind when he asked about any delay.

“I don’t want the MAC to slip,” he said, referring to the multi-purpose athletic center that’s also going to be built in part with bond money underpinned by the one-eighth of a penny city sales tax hike approved earlier this year. The board also heard Thursday from Finance Director Nick Providenti those bonds are going to market with a closing date of Dec. 17. The bonds are raising $13.6 million over 30 yeas at about 3.7 percent interest.

The animal shelter will be built in east Carson City on Airport Road at the southwest corner of the city government’s corporate yard, which is near where Public Works and the Parks and Recreation Department are located. The old animal shelter also is nearby at 3770 Butti Way. City government will spend $3.7 million on the new facility; private donations are slated to provide $200,000.

The MAC, meanwhile, is expected to cost about $8.5 million, but much less than that will come out of the bonding from the recent sales tax hike. The city already had about $6 million banked for the MAC project from Question 18 quality of life funds. The MAC is one of the final projects based on that particular sales tax revenue stream and it was one of the projects touted to help get voter approval for Question 18 in the 1990s.

The more than $2 million MAC money pegged to this year’s sales tax stream, which began officially on Oct. 1 to help back the bonds, was being added to the $6 million to make sure the facility was larger than the lower banked amount would have allowed. The Big MAC, as this plan is called, includes collegiate sized basketball courts with overlay high school options, along with an overhead walking track.

The sports facility also is being designed to allow a possible Bigger MAC by expansion later. The project will go on Russell Way next to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.

Also in this decade’s round of capital improvements by using the bond money and getting started on a phased basis are: plans soon to make downtown more pedestrian friendly with slower traffic, wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes; sprucing up later of three other Carson City business corridors; and an eventual upgrade of the city’s community center cultural capabilities.

Thursday’s meeting, however, was focused on the animal shelter. It came less than 24 hours after a ribbon-cutting to welcome the Nevada Humane Society taking over operations of animal services and the old Butti Way shelter. The society actually took over on Oct. 1.

Fellows told the board the Reno-based humane society would be included in the design work and would be consulted on the final floor plan footprint. He also said there would be efforts to use some LEED construction techniques to make the building as environmentally sound as possible, but that wouldn’t include solar.

The BDA firm in Albuquerque specializes in animal shelter projects and not only will work on design, but help oversee selection of the construction firm and how things go until completion.


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