© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Prince Albert SPCA manager Debbie Lehner and assistant manager Leanne Roberts stand outside of their new facility, on North Industrial Drive, on Tuesday. The building is still expected to be move-in ready by early March.
With the ceiling tiles yet to be installed, a life-saving system remains exposed at the new Prince Albert SPCA building on North Industrial Drive.
Above the drop ceiling brackets is a large air exchange system that runs the length of the building, providing fresh air throughout.
Although the clean air will benefit everyone, it‚Äôll be a life-saver for the facility‚Äôs felines, who remain at risk at the organization‚Äôs current building on Exhibition Drive.
‚ÄúThe cats have really done well with this new facility,‚ÄĚ Lehner said, noting that cats usually get a raw deal with animal rescue organizations, compared with dogs.
As of Tuesday, the organization‚Äôs current Exhibition Drive building remains at capacity with about 50 felines. With no air exchange system, the cramped felines remain at risk of developing upper respiratory problems. Last winter, between 20 and 25 cats were euthanized due to related medical problems.
Anxiously awaiting a move-in date of early March, Lehner joined assistant manager Leanne Roberts in touring the new building on Tuesday -- an almost daily trip the duo makes to both see how things are coming along and to push crews in the right direction.
On Tuesday, the drywall was up, doors and windows were installed and crews were seen loading pallets of ceiling tiles into the lobby.
‚ÄúThings are really progressing and we‚Äôre just getting really, really excited as equipment is starting to arrive in the next couple weeks, and all the finishing touches,‚ÄĚ Lehner said.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs everything that we expected ‚Ä¶ It‚Äôs the atmosphere we want for potential adopters to come into a warm and calming type environment.‚ÄĚ
An early March move in date is pretty solid, fund development director Carol Samuels said -- pending unforeseen problems -- even though they remain about $200,000 shy of their fundraising goal.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre so close to being there, and we‚Äôre not going to let a little bit prevent us from moving in,‚ÄĚ she concluded, adding that they plan on placing the balance onto a mortgage.
The cats have really done well with this new facility. Debbie Lehner
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre not concerned,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúEverything‚Äôs in place and we can‚Äôt wait to get into the new building.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs going to be amazing. I know that everyone‚Äôs so excited to be in the new building, and the animals will have better space and a healthier environment.‚ÄĚ
Although March will see SPCA staff and animals move in to the new building, it won‚Äôt be until June when a grand opening celebration will take place.
By then, Samuels said that they‚Äôll be fully moved in and settled and it‚Äôll be warm enough outside to spread festivities throughout the property.
More fundraisers are in the works over the next year, Samuels said, noting that the sooner they raise the $200,000 balance the sooner they‚Äôre spared interest payments.
Although the public will hear less about their financial needs after the final $200,000 has been raised, Samuels notes that the charitable organization will always need the public‚Äôs help, to some degree.
‚ÄúWe do have plans in place for revenue generation, but part of it will include fundraisers, and looking for community and individual support,‚ÄĚ she said.
This shouldn‚Äôt be a problem, Lehner said, noting that their new building is becoming a reality because of public support.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs very humbling when you see the community come together to help make this happen and we will always be indebted.‚ÄĚ