Leaders of the Lawrence Humane Society will meet Tuesday to consider moving ahead with plans to renovate the organization’s shelter to include:
• Separate isolation rooms for dogs and cats.
• Dedicated air-handling systems to prevent germs and illnesses from spreading.
• Comfortable rooms for visitors to use when meeting potential pets for adoption, and more parking spaces for visitors, employees and others to use.
“They’ve decided that it’s necessary,” said Midge Grinstead, the humane society’s executive director. “What they haven’t decided is whether they want to raise the money.”
That issue is up for consideration Tuesday, during the humane society’s board meeting at 6 p.m. at Central National Bank, 3140 Nieder Road, just northeast of SuperTarget.
“We’re not going to rush into a decision,” said Charles Derby, a board member. “We’ll weigh all the facts and make an informed decision. There’s no set time frame.”
As proposed, renovations would be expected to cost about $350,000, plus another $70,000 or so to install special kennels, Grinstead said. She’s already secured $75,000, through grants from the RICE Foundation and the Kriz Foundation, but no work can proceed unless more private money can be raised.
While the humane society relies on tax money — $256,000 from the city of Lawrence, and $28,000 from Douglas County — to help finance a $1.1 million operational budget, the organization’s major capital expenses rely on donations and other sources.
Renovations in 2007 cost the organization $696,000, Grinstead said, and the $200,000 that had to be borrowed wasn’t paid off for 18 months.
“We can’t borrow money,” she said. “We have to raise the money.”
The shelter opened in 1995 at 1805 W. 19th St., just east of Harper Street and north of the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds. Another building was added in 2000.
Original plans for the shelter — an operation that handled about 7,000 small animals a year ago — didn’t include special accommodations for needs that are clear today, Grinstead said. Dogs have chewed through plastic panels in the isolation area’s dog runs, and ill cats’ struggles to recover are hampered by their proximity to canines.
The project also would add 20 parking spaces, nearly doubling the current total of 23.