ELLIJAY, Georgia – With the formal approval of the Gilmer County Animal Shelter expansion and two generous donations made to fund the project, the discussion now turns to the designs and plans for the project.
As previously reported at the Commissioners’ meetings in September, there are already plans for the project. However, these plans must now go through the county process to be prepared and considered for costs. As the approval has only grown as much as it could within the limits of available funds, the county will be reviewing these plans.
In addition, these plans come from a committee set up for the expansion, which is now moving to the county, they will need to be adjusted and approved by the county before the tendering process, which is expected to begin at the end of 2021, can continue the project.
With these photos of the preliminary plan, the public can see what some of the members of FOGAS, the animal shelter, the engineer hired and others who served on this committee had in mind for the shelter.
The upcoming expansion will allow the shelter to better care for the animals it owns and better care for an increasing population. The director of the animal shelter, Daniel Laukka, told the meeting that growth is coming. While he urged commissioners at the time to accept donations and approve an expansion plan, the focus is now on how they can meet those needs.
Another comment Laukka made at the meeting recounted how the shelter was using a former office space for a sick room, current plans included space for both a sick room and a veterinary examination room in the hospital. House. The plans include separate areas for cats and feral cats as well as dogs. There are also expanded outdoor concepts including an exercise area and dog tracks as well as a cat deck. The engineer also included a second photo in the plans showing fully furnished chat rooms using vertical space for animals.
According to plans, the project will renovate approximately 2,500 square feet of the original building while adding an additional 5,140 square feet in new interior space with an additional 1,140 square feet for the use of the kennel.
Citizens must understand that these plans are still early. One concern raised by Postal Commissioner Karleen Ferguson at the meeting was not to get carried away and approve the project with an “at any cost” mentality. These plans represent a first step in the county process. However, they give citizens an idea of what might be possible for the future of the Gilmer County Animal Shelter and a starting point for the county to build from.