Prince William County has completed the first phase of construction of a massive upgrade to its animal shelter.
The County Animal Control Bureau began moving into the West Wing of the Animal Service Center on November 23.
The $ 16.7 million project will replace the former Bristow Road animal shelter, which officials say was donated to the county in 1975.
The old shelter measured 6,646 square feet and was not up to state standards. The new facility, on the same property, will have an area of ââ25,760 square feet.
The project has moved forward after encountering a problem last year after construction bids went over budget. The county board of supervisors ultimately approved additional funding to move the project forward.
Matt Villareale, county facilities and fleet management manager, said the contractor was given a 30-day extension due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances, but construction is proceeding by elsewhere on time.
The first phase is approximately 20,000 square feet and will have space for 48 cats and 24 dogs, with additional rooms available to isolate sick animals. During Thanksgiving week, staff moved animals around the facility.
Only the hall and the training room of the new facility are currently open to the public. Adoption services will resume in this part, but will eventually be housed in the east wing as part of the second phase.
Phase two of the construction will include nine bedrooms, including space for 28 additional cats and 24 adoptable dogs. It will also include three rooms for small mammals, birds and reptiles.
Construction is expected to be completed in the spring.