SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — During the City Council meeting on February 21, 2023, Morgan Chegwidden, Assistant Director of Neighborhoods and Family Services, presented a series of improvements needing to be made at the Animal Shelter.

They estimate the improvements to the animal shelter discussed in the City Council meeting to cost $1,642,000. The staff has recommended the project be funded in its entirety instead of in phases in order to keep the shelter open while the improvements are being made. Improvements to the Animal Shelter have not been done since 1999.

The Animal Shelter is looking to overhaul the current HVAC system, including venting, air handling units and compressors, install a new ventilation system to exhaust air outside, redesign the lighting system, replace ceiling tiles throughout the facility and improve door security through corridors.

According to Chegwidden the ceiling tiles are “holding ordor” adding to the smell often reported by visitors of the facility who also have reported standing water in some of the kennels, noise, drainage and plumbing issues.

“My building is in use every day, every minute of the day, ” said Chegeidden, “so we are a building the deteriorates more frequently than an office-style building.”

They also discussed a complete rehabilitation of the kennels, which currently only comprise over 3,000 square feet of the facility with only 120 kennels. These improvements would include installing a dropped ceiling, assembling new plastic kennels and doors, and raising the floors of the kennels with trench drains.

“That space is really tough for the customer experience as well as the staff and the animals in care,” said Chegwidden.

With the improvements to the kennels, Chedwiggen said it would decrease noise and odor, and decreases the risk of the spread of disease.

When asked by Mayor Brenda Gunter where the animals would go during the four to six-month reconstruction of the kennels, Chegwidden referred to when the community helped evacuate animals in September 2022 for a pest control treatment.

“We are gonna lean on the community heavily, we will also stand up a secondary location for housing.”

Additional projects include reconfiguring the cat room to expand the lobby to appropriate proportions and refurbishing the exam and canine intake rooms.

“I’ve been out there folks,” said Tommy Hiebert,” This is long, long overdue.”