Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley shows off its much larger shelter as renovations begin
Visitors got a last glimpse of the former child care center on Church Street in New Kensington on Sunday before renovations begin to turn the vacant building into an animal shelter.
The plans to move Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley from its current 3,000-square-foot home on Linden Avenue to the Church Street building three times that size have been in the works for more than a year.
Plans include an addition that bring the total square footage to about 14,000 square feet on just under 4 acres, said Animal Protectors board President Phyllis Framel.
The open house was an opportunity for visitors to see what’s to come and make donations.
Jeffrey Hilberg, of Freeport, said he has dropped by the current facility several times recently and wanted to see what the shelter’s new digs will look like.
“It’s wonderful – they’re going to have so much more room,” he said. “They’re really limited (in the current shelter), and it’s fantastic they’re going to have that space.”
Framel said the new building will be healthier and happier for the animals, staff and volunteers.
“It’s really falling apart around our ears,” she said. “We want to get out of that building as soon as we can.”
Though currently without heat on the second floor and without lights in some parts of the first floor, staff and directors have grand plans for the space.
The building will have meet-and-greet areas for families to get to know potential pets, separate medical and grooming areas for dogs and cats, offices and conference rooms and other areas for staff and volunteers to decompress if needed.
The cats will have their own “Catio,” as it will be called, with large windows for sunshine-lounging, as well as a free-roam room and a kitten room.
Dogs will have larger kennels and fenced-in yards.
The building began as the school for the nearby Logans Ferry Presbyterian Church and was later sold and leased to an adult daycare. Most recently, it housed a child care center. That lease ended in August 2017.
“They moved, and we’ve been slowly creeping up on construction,” Framel said.
Project manager Heather Werkeiser, of Canzian Johnston & Associates Architects, said the new facility will have better security, better natural light and better ventilation.
“The biggest thing is it will be a healthier environment for the animals,” she said. “We’re looking forward to starting soon.”
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.