Dog shelter expected to cost less

The Auglaize County commissioners hope to save at least $150,000 with the latest proposed plans for a county dog shelter.

Commissioner John Bergman said these new savings could help ensure that the building is completed and in use by the end of November.

He described a meeting Tuesday with architects from the Minster firm of Garmann-Miller & Associates as going better than anticipated as two cost-saving buildings were proposed.

“Some concepts were put together so we could get an idea of what we could save,” Bergman said.

Commissioners are leaning toward a metal-sided and metal-roofed building with block up several feet high from the ground, comparable to the Auglaize County Educational Service Center, to which it would be adjacent.

Another option presented to the commissioners would be for a full block building similar to the Auglaize County Law Enforcement Center, which also is in the vicinity.

Cost savings with the block building would be closer to $80,000, almost half of what could be saved with the partial metal building.

Both would be designed to blend in with neighboring government buildings in the area where the shelter is to be built off Dearbaugh Avenue, along U.S. 33 near the Auglaize County Fairgrounds and behind the Law Enforcement Center.

The commissioners are expecting to have firmer numbers on estimated building costs before the end of February and would then decide whether or not to proceed with seeking bids for the project. With the latest reductions, a new dog shelter could be closer to $380,000 than the $530,000, which was the lowest bid the last time the county took bids on the shelter.

Commissioners and project architects went over smaller details — sidewalk widths, hydrants and the number of outside electrical outlets — among other items Tuesday to develop a “best guess as possible” price estimate by the next time commissioners meet with the architects.

One of the cost saving measures they discussed was a special non-porous material used to coat concrete to be considered over a costly, special glazed tile. The textured material, which goes by a variety of names, makes cleaning easier and would prevent sanitation issues at the dog shelter.

The material has been used in other public buildings, including St. Marys City Schools, around the Otterbein St. Marys pool, and in the Duchouquet Township House.

The latest architectural drawings of a proposed dog shelter changes the width and length — the building will be shorter and longer, with a different footprint because of a change in where the kennels would be placed.

It would have no direct runs from the buildings, but dogs could be taken through an added side door to an 8- by 10-foot concrete pad for time outside of the kennel.

Walls inside the kennel would extend to the ceiling to cut down noise. Commissioners had considered the walls stopping somewhere short of the ceiling.

Bergman said the newer plans, while expected to reduce costs, are not missing anything from an operational standpoint.

“I think if those numbers come back the way they are expecting, we will be very comfortable with that,” Bergman said.

He said commissioners were approached recently by an individual asking about the dog shelter which used to be located at Auglaize Acres, but it was removed by the early 2000s.

“The structure, an uninsulated steel-sided and roofed building with a concrete floor and no heat had become unstable,” Bergman said. “When we signed a contract with the Humane Society (of Auglaize County), there was no need to keep it, so we tore it down.”

Sanitary and sewer lines already are extended to the proposed site of the new dog shelter on county-owned property which would provide for greater visibility to the public than a temporary site near New Knoxville where the dog warden’s operations have been based since the county took the responsibility back over in 2008.

In addition to the architects working on the project coming back with more concrete costs by the end of the month, they also are supposed to have renderings of the building from all angles and put on the site, at least digitally, so commissioners can see what it would look like from the fairgrounds and the road and in comparison with other buildings nearby.

“We are hoping to have the best guess possible,” Bergman said. “This seems to be a very doable building, which would blend in with what is already out there and still be functional, sanitary and maintainable on a day-to-day basis.”

Plans also allow for kennel space to be added onto the west side of the shelter should a need develop in the future.

Bergman said if the numbers come back favorably, the plans could be put in a format to be bid within 10 days and the project go out for bid by late March or early April.

“It could be completed by the end of November,” Bergman said. “Barring any surprises, I feel good about this building happening. I think this is a number we can live with and the public can live with in a building that can be used better by the public.”