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  • Architects apply to design new PACC facility

    Feb 25, 2015 | Read More News
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    Ten architectural firms submitted applications to design the new Pima Animal Care Center facility Feb. 24, following a national search that opened in early January. This is the first major step in constructing the new facility, which was approved Nov. 4 as part of a Pima County bond vote. Proposition 415 authorizes the county to borrow up to $22 million to improve Pima Animal Care Center.

    “We’re extremely pleased with the number of architects applying for this project,” said Facilities Management Director Michael Kirk. “We need the cream of the crop to help us execute our vision for a facility that will better accommodate the thousands of animals brought to us daily for shelter, and allow for more modern animal care practices.”

    Kirk said the county advertised for a design team that had worked in the recent past on similar projects in terms of size and complexity, with LEED-certified project experience, who had worked with the “construction manager at risk” method of project delivery.

    The current PACC facility will need to remain open and operational during the construction phase of the new facility, which Kirk said makes this an “extremely challenging project” that requires a creative, flexible design team.

    The new facility is estimated to be about 50,000 square feet. The current facility is 40,000 square feet and receives an estimated 24,000 pets annually. PACC is the only open-admission shelter in the county, which means the facility does not turn away any feline or canine brought to its doors. Due to this practice, the center routinely houses up to four dogs in a kennel and the cat room regularly reaches overflow conditions.

    “It has become increasingly difficult to adequately serve the animals brought to us for care and shelter with our current, aging facility,” said PACC Chief of Operations Kristin Barney. “We’re all looking forward to the new facility, and are excited for every milestone – like these applications coming in. It is great that so many architecture and design teams are excited about planning a new facility for the animals of the county.”

    A selection panel will review and rate the architect applications over the next month, with at least three but no more than five finalists being interviewed. The panel will send their recommendation for the design team to the Board of Supervisors for approval sometime in April, according to project manager Martyn Klell.

    The selection panel includes a PACC Advisory Committee member and PACC volunteer, as well as staff from facilities management, PACC and county administration.

    The original PACC facility was built in 1968, when Pima County's population was about 300,000, compared to the current nearly 1 million. The November 2014 bond election was Pima County’s first bond election since 2006. The proposed renovation and construction of PACC will cost about $2.89 annually for someone who owns a $150,000 home, which is the median valued home in Pima County.

    The construction manager at risk position will be advertised in March, Kirk said.