September 20, 2023 | Articles
As all animal lovers know, animal shelters play a crucial role in our communities by providing lodging for lost or unwanted pets, medical services to prevent overpopulation and disease, and placing animals into forever homes. So when the City of Quincy, MA, decided to move forward with a project to construct a new facility for its local animal shelter, it did so in service of the entire urban ecosystem, canis familiaris, felis catus, homo sapiens, or otherwise. Hill International is providing owner’s project management services for the Quincy Animal Shelter from final design through completion.
“Shelters nowadays are much more than just buildings to hold stray dogs and cats,” says Hill Project Director Paul Kalous. “They provide a professional range of services, from maintaining the health of the animals in their care in more sophisticated ways, to facilitating adoption with social media accounts and community outreach programs. The Quincy Animal Shelter is no different—it’s a fundamental organization in Quincy.”
The holistic nature of the modern animal shelter is clear from the Quincy Animal Shelter’s mission statement: “…to advocate for animals by providing safety until home placement of those in our care. We promote spay and neuter programs as a means to control pet overpopulation and continually strive to be the leading community resource for education on proper animal welfare.”
Given the importance of animal shelters, it makes sense that Quincy has been planning a new shelter facility as part of its capital improvement plan. According to Kalous, the project will increase capacity and services offered at the Shelter. The project team’s goal is to execute the project in a way most beneficial for the whole municipality.
The former facility’s size—around 3,300 SF—limited the extent and scope of the services the Shelter could provide. The logical decision was to move to a larger facility. However, as an organization operating primarily through volunteers and private donations, the Shelter was limited in its ability to undertake a project on its own.
The 15,000 SF new facility, operated by the Quincy Animal Shelter and owned by the City, will continue to shelter dogs and cats, serve as an adoption agency, and provide all of the administrative services provided in the former location. With its new, larger location, however, the facility will also house the City’s K-9 unit and an office for Quincy Animal Control. It will be able to provide separate and adequately sized areas for a larger population of cats and dogs to reduce the stress on the animals, keep more animals off the street, and continue to boast a 96% save rate for its animals—6% higher than the standard for no-kill shelters.
“Of course, it’s not just about better services,” says Kalous, “Quincy [the City] is funding the project and wants a facility that furthers the City’s own development and integrates the Animal Shelter better into the community.” The project will help with this goal in several ways.
The former shelter, located at a central site in the City, is being demolished to make space for a new, much-needed public safety facility. The new shelter will be constructed adjacent to the Quincy Dog Park, which opened in July 2020. Prior to the construction of the Park, the relatively remote site was underutilized. Now, Park users will benefit from the two shifts of personnel working at the shelter, as well as 24/7 police attention, since the Shelter houses the Quincy Police K-9 Unit. Thus the Quincy Animal Shelter will improve the City, as well as the lives of dogs, cats, and pet owners living there.
As owner’s project manager, Hill is providing design and constructability reviews, scheduling, cost estimating, construction monitoring, construction administration for the City, and stakeholder coordination. The Hill team will also help the City achieve local and State approvals for permits and coordinate construction activities with neighbors of the new facility. In addition, Hill is working with the City to provide a swing-space destination for Shelter operations during construction. “Our job is to help make sure the project gets done exactly the way the City and Shelter expect,” adds Kalous.
Hill has a large amount of experience supporting similar community projects. “Many of our clients in the region are local governments,” attests Peter Martini, Hill’s First Vice President for New England Operations. “Whether it’s a town hall, senior center, police station, elementary school, or an animal shelter, our teams are experts in helping overcome the challenges and capture the opportunities local governments encounter on this type of project.
“Our professionals live in the regions where they work, if not the very cities or towns, and they know what’s really at stake with these buildings. This is not just an animal shelter, it’s the place where our neighbor’s kids are going to find a new best friend.”
All one must do to feel the truth of Martini’s words is read the heartfelt success stories on the Quincy Animal Shelter’s website that reinforce the bond between pets and people, and demonstrate what an animal shelter can mean to a community.
The new Quincy Animal Shelter is expected to be completed in 2023. For more information about the Shelter, please visit: https://www.quincyanimalshelter.org/. For more information about Hill International, visit: https://www.hillintl.com/.
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