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Westport SPCA on schedule to break ground with smaller plans

Members committed to continue the building project

The North Country SPCA “Gimme Shelter” was one of many fundraising events used to help generate funds for a new building.

The North Country SPCA “Gimme Shelter” was one of many fundraising events used to help generate funds for a new building.

The Westport SPCA building project is on schedule to break ground with smaller designs.

“We are very excited to be so close to putting that first shovel in the ground in June or July,” Margie Reuther, co-chair of the Capital Project and member of the Westport SPCA Board, said.

Code Officer, John Hudson, said the original plans, which had been approved by the planning board, were done very well and he expects the new plans to pass board inspection.

“They really have a fantastic plan, I’ve never seen such a good one,” Hudson said. “They had all the code requirements you have to have and the architect was fantastic, I’m sure when they give me the downsized plan that it will be just as good.”

As part of the process of keeping the new shelter on the $1.5 million budget, Reuther said they had to revisit the original design with the contractor, Bread Loaf Corporation, and to eliminate extras such as a garage, office and staff spaces.

“While the new floor plan is somewhat smaller, we have the same amount of animal living space and it will meet today’s standards for animal housing,” Reuther said. “The new shelter will include all of the essential services with separate areas for cats and dogs so that they are healthier and happier,”

In addition, Reuther said the smaller building will be more efficient, less expensive to heat and easier for the staff to clean and maintain.

Depending on the final details of the bid package, Reuther said the board expects to need an additional $165,000 to complete the capital campaign. The group hopes to raise the remaining funds through fundraisers this summer such as “Artists for Animals,” an art exhibit at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts which opens June 1; and the “Gimme Shelter” Golf Tournament on July 27 at the Westport Country Club.

Though there are still some ways to go until the communities’ animals have a new place to go, Reuther said she and the SPCA are grateful for all people have done for them so far.

“Our fundraising efforts have been very successful thanks to tremendous support in our community,” Reuther said. “We are so grateful to each and every donor who has made a contribution.”

To make a donation to the capital campaign or to volunteer, please visit www.ncspca.org.

“The animals thank you,” Reuther said.

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