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Shelter is down to details
Construction draws closer
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Forsyth County News

Just a few decisions remain for the Forsyth County Animal Shelter before the project goes out for construction bids.

The five-member shelter advisory committee combed through the plans again Wednesday, debating the configuration of rooms, building materials and details down to the location of doors.

Architect Bill Daggett of, told the group to get “comfortable with this level of detail,” so when the construction begins the county gets what it expected.

Approved as part of last year’s 1-cent sales tax extension, the shelter will be built on a 4.1-acre site on County Way in north Forsyth off Ga. 400 for about $2.6 million.

Though revenue from the six-year tax extension won't start coming in until July 2013, the county plans to borrow the money from its reserve fund to build a shelter and pay it back with interest.

The facility is estimated for completion at the start of 2014, according to the schedule.

The committee reached one of its benchmarks Wednesday, when the group was slated to sign off on plans to give the architect 60 days to prepare the construction documents for a bid.

Architect Keith Allen of RKS Green Consulting Group said the project team could stay on schedule if the few remaining decisions are finalized by Oct. 31.

“We’re going to start moving forward with construction documents based on what we’ve seen today,” Allen said.

The committee has yet to give the marching orders for the building’s orientation, the layout of the lobby and the arrangement of animal control and medical spaces.

Daggett plans to prepare renderings of a few options for each of the three main questions.

The building, which likely will be about 14,000 square feet, could face County Way or turn toward Ga. 400.

The committee debated where to locate the receptionist desk within the lobby and asked to see another layout.

Several options remain for the organization of animal control offices, the surgical suite and animal drop-off areas.

Daggett suggested that “clarity” on who would perform what jobs may help the committee determine how to arrange the rooms to create the most efficiency in operations and staffing.

The committee plans to review those options and provide direction in the next week.

The group did select materials for the building’s exterior on Wednesday, with a first choice of masonry or brick and an alternate of fiber cement siding, depending on the pricing received in the bid phase.

For the roof, the committee chose metal as the top option and shingles as the alternate.

If the top options are affordable, the building could look similar to some of the more recent fire stations, which were constructed with a combination of brick, metal roof and cement block, said Steve Rhoades, of Forsyth County public facilities.

Bids for construction are expected to go out in January.

At the committee’s next meeting, set for Nov. 14, the group plans to discuss the interior, staffing, operating procedures and review the budget.