By JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ
LINCOLN HEIGHTS — The North Central Animal Shelter is in the process of a much-needed $20 million facelift to upgrade the facility and strengthen the foundation under the main building that has been settling and sinking in spots.
The shelter, located at 3201 N. Lacy St., had new outdoor runs added a few years ago. The second phase of improvements, which began earlier this fall, include renovating the main building, upgrading the heating and air conditioning systems and adding a new veterinary clinic and new animal holding spaces. “We want to ensure constituents have state of the art venues that meet their needs and those of their families,” said Fredy Ceja, Communications Director of Council District 1.
But perhaps one of the most important improvements will not be visible to visitors. The project will deal with “excessive foundation settlements” as the facility has settled unevenly into landfill on which it was built.
Piles (or columns) will be drilled into the bedrock to support portions of a new and existing foundation to stop further settlement, officials said. This will stop all further settlement.
In the kennel area, a process called “mud-jacking” will inject a concrete mixture under the kennels to lift and level them out.
Brenda Barnette, manager of the Department of Animal Services, says the staff is looking forward to the upgrades.
“North is one of our higher volume shelters so these improvements will be very important for the animals, staff and volunteers and the public coming in to meet their new family members,” says Barnette.
During the construction, the animals will be housed in temporary modular buildings on site. These units all have HVAC systems, running water, so they’ll be able to accommodate the same number of animals, according to department officials.
The project is expected to be complete by August 2019.
“Like all things new, our staff and volunteers will need to adjust to the change and the temporary quarters,” said Barnette. “But I’m confident that they will all do what needs to be done to save our shelter animals as we look forward to a fabulous new facility.”
Jacqueline Fernandez is a Los Angeles-based reporter who’s written for various media outlets such as Los Angeles Wave, The Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News.
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