“It will be more modern, and more inviting to the public,” he said. “We’ll actually have a community room where we’ll offer classes on things like responsible pet ownership and first aid for pets.”
Jessamine County Magistrate George Dean said once complete, the building would be 50 feet by 100 feet.
“It’s designed to look very similar to the Ag Learning Center,” he said, gesturing to the building behind him in the distance.
Dean said the animal shelter will have several large doors on its front, which will be sliding doors designed to give the building the appearance of a barn.
“The building will have two kennel areas,” he said. “It will also have a holding area for incoming cats and cat adoptions.”
Dean said there will also be space for a veterinarian to treat animals.
Construction was scheduled to begin immediately, and project manager John Dalton, who oversaw the construction of the Neal Cassity Building downtown, said he expects the majority of the work to be completed by the end of the calendar year.
“The initial schedule shows five months,” Dalton said. “Depending on the weather, it could take six or seven months. I’m hoping to be done by Christmas.”
Officials are mulling over options as to what to do with the old shelter once the new one is complete.
“It’s up in the air as to what’s going to happen to it,” Animal Shelter Advisory Chairman Mike Cassidy said. “There’s been talk of remodeling it and using it as an overflow facility for animal cruelty and then there’s been talk of bulldozing it.”
In October, the Jessamine County Fiscal Court received a $150,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to aid in building a new shelter. Cassidy said the county received several cost estimates which reached in excess of $700,000, but the advisory committee and fiscal court are looking at ways to cut the cost. Some of those ways are using inmate labor from the Jessamine County Detention Center and hiring its own project manager (Dalton).
In addition, Cassidy said the county is seeking an additional $200,000 grant, and should know whether it received it by the end of the month.
Once the work is complete, the community and its animals will benefit tremendously from the new shelter, Jett said.
“This will be one of the most modern facilities in the area,” he said. “It’s something we’ve dreamed of having for a long time, and it’s exciting to see this project come to pass.”