Building contractor Colin Lacey pulled out a spray can, and drew a series of bright orange lines on the parking lot of Aldergrove’s Patti Dale Animal Shelter.
They were creating more than just a few lines, but for the first time, officially outlining where the Langley Animal Protection Society’s (LAPS) new 1,400-square-foot cat intake and isolation facility will be erected this summer.
After three years of planning and fundraising, construction on the one-of-a-kind facility – dubbed ISOasis – is expected to start in early July, with completion by the end of September.
Friday evening marked the official ground breaking ceremony for this facility, an event tied in with LAPS’ annual thank you wine and cheese event.
“This building will have a significant and positive impact on the way that sick cats and kittens are cared for,” explained executive director Jayne Nelson, noting how important the custom-designed structure will reduce the risk of the spread of disease.
She estimates that the new cat facility, when complete, will also increase capacity by as much as 40 per cent, enabling LAPS to help more cats in the community.
“LAPS is such a special organization… we really are the little shelter that could,” Nelson said.
“LAPS has this amazing ability to do things that most would think impossible for a shelter of our size. Building the ISOasis is an awesome example of that special ability,” she added, thanking everyone involved, from the Township of Langley, through to LAPS staff and volunteers, the ISOasis committee, and especially all the supporters and donors.
“It is this commitment and belief that has made the ISOasis come to life,” she added.
Among those given special thanks, Nelson explained how Lacey, owner of Langley’s ENM Construction, helped get the project back on track when costs threatened to kill the dream.
Sadly, from the day the dream was conceived, through to when LAPS was looking to build, the cost of construction and supplies in the Lower Mainland had skyrocketed – exceeded their budget.
The budget for the project was $550,000, with the Township of Langley contributing half of the cost, and LAPS left to fundraise the rest.
Ten months ago, when the project was at a stand-still because of the costs, Lacey explained how he came in and offered what he called “perspective and solutions” that helped bring expectations and needs in line with the budget – “not through reduction, but valued engineering and cost-saving methods,” he explained.
With some modified designs, alternate products, cost-cutting measures, and creative efficiencies, the project is now moving forward – with Lacey’s commitment to eat any added building costs over what’s allotted.
“We are so grateful for their commitment to getting the ISOasis built within our budget,” Nelson told the crowd of about 80 who gathered in the parking lot along 56th Avenue to watch the ground-breaking ceremony.
Nelson also expressed special thanks to Mark and Pat Dumont, who donated $60,000 to the project, the Shewan Foundation that contributed $20,000, and Lafarge Canada for donating about $10,000 in concrete for the foundation of the new building.
“There are many, many people – not only from this community, but worldwide, who generously made contributions… too many to list…” she said, pointing out that all the names were posted on a heroes wall inside the Patti Dale animal shelter’s main building.
“This building was built by the LAPS community and in that spirit will belong to this community benefiting the cats and kittens that need our help… making their lives better until they can find their loving, forever home,” Nelson said.
“We are looking forward to being able to provide a higher level of service to our community and to support other organizations who are also helping cats in this community.”