Parish already has drawings for proposed new animal shelter

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Architects are undergoing the final review of a three-phase design and draft project for St. John Parish’s new state-of-the-art animal shelter, said a spokesperson for the parish.

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said representatives from Murray Architects of Destrehan have spent the past month in meetings with the Parish Council and animal control board regarding needs and specifications for the facility, which will be constructed on the grounds where the present shelter now stands.

“The animal control board expressed to the architects what they wanted to see, and the architects have come back with floor plans, layout, and a 3-D rendering of the building,” said Boe. “There is still some tweaking that needs to be done, but we expect to have the final design within the next two to three weeks.”

Boe said the parish hopes to have the project ready for bids by the beginning of April, so that construction can begin in June. He said Parish President Bill Hubbard is aiming for an October 2008 grand opening.

Joe Murray, lead architect on the project, said the finished product will be a roughly 8,000 square foot facility that will include office space, grooming rooms, feeding areas, spay and neutering rooms, and lots of holding space. He said it would also include a comprehensive system of sewerage and drainage, as well as various fresh air intake components.

“It will be something that the parish will truly be proud of,” said Murray. “We spent lots of time reviewing the needs and taking tours of other similar facilities to be sure we are getting the best materials.”

Murray said because of budget constraints, the shelter would be constructed in two phases. He said the parish has given them a $450,000 price tag for the project. Murray said construction on phase one would last anywhere from four to six months.

“The inside components are a bit complicated, but the building itself is a fairly simple design,” said Murray. “We should see it go up fairly quickly.”

Murray said the design phase should be complete by the end of the month, when it would go before the Parish Council for final approval.

Boe said construction of a new shelter was a key platform during Hubbard’s campaign for the presidency, and said the parish president has promised not to waste any time in getting the project off the ground.

“This has been an eight year struggle that is finally coming to an end,” said Boe. “We don’t want to hesitate.”