27 Jun ‘I can’t even say how ecstatic we are’: Contract approved for new Beaufort County animal shelter
A new animal shelter will be built on this site along S.C. 170 in Okatie. The project is a partnership between Beaufort County and the Hilton Head Humane Association.
After years of planning and fundraising, the new Beaufort County animal shelter is poised to soon become a reality.
The $7 million facility — a partnership between the county and the Hilton Head Humane Association — is set to be built on a six-acre site on S.C. 170 between Pritcher Point and Heffalump roads, next to the River’s End community in Okatie.
The Beaufort County Council gave the go-ahead Monday to move forward on a contract with Hilton Head Island-based builder Nix Construction.
“We are excited about it; I know our team is excited about it,” Chuck Laine, chairman of the humane association board of directors, told members of the County Council’s Public Facilities Committee earlier this week.
County animal control director Tallulah Trice echoed his sentiment Tuesday.
“I can’t even say how ecstatic we are to be moving forward,” she said.
Plans call for the construction of an animal shelter campus with more than 20,000 square feet of indoor facilities between two connected main buildings and a park with open space and trails.
The campus will include a facility for Beaufort County Animal Services to house and treat animals brought there or picked up by animal services officers, and it will include a new spay-neuter clinic and adoption center to be managed by the Hilton Head Humane Association.
The construction contract must be finalized by the end of July, and the new facility is expected to take a little more than a year to build.
“We can’t wait,” Trice said.
The current shelter — a 47-year-old “rundown facility” near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort — “is barely holding on,” she said.
County administrator Gary Kubic said the new shelter “has been a priority item (for county leaders) for the past five years,” and meanwhile “we have tried to perform miracles in a sub-standard facility,” he said.
The new campus represents a “a quantum leap that’s long overdue,” Kubic said. “… What we are talking about building is state of the art — it’s a true medical facility.”
Myles Glick, the project’s architect, agreed.
“This building is very special and technically oriented,” he said.
WE WANT TO PUT OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS.
Hilton Head Humane Association board chairman Chuck Laine
The way the project will be funded also is unusual, county and humane association leaders say.
“The key ingredient is that its a partnership” between the two groups, Kubic said.
The humane association — thanks in large part to private fundraising campaign — is chipping in $2 million for the shelter.
“We want to put our money where our mouth is,” Laine said.
County leaders have also lauded the fact that a local company has been selected to build the shelter.
“It’s awesome that more revenues are staying in Beaufort County,” Councilman Mike Covert said.
An artist’s rendering shows the exterior of the new Beaufort County animal shelter planned for a site on S.C. 170 in Okatie. The project is a partnership between the county and the Hilton Head Humane Association.