The City of Austin invites the community to celebrate the opening of the new Austin Animal Center on its first day of operations Nov. 12, 2011.
The state-of-the art facility will usher in a new level of humane care for lost, abandoned and orphaned animals and will be key to maintaining the City’s current No-Kill status of saving at least 90 percent of the animals that enter the animal shelter.
The 2006 voter-approved $12 million facility has 41,400 square feet and will shift current animal services operations five miles east of the old Town Lake Animal Center that opened in 1952. The City is negotiating a license agreement with the non-profit animal rescue group Austin Pets Alive to temporarily operate City animal adoptions from the Town Lake facility at 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St.
The new location includes expanded and modernized veterinary facilities, improved adoption and customer service areas, larger and more flexible spaces for housing animals, and a large multi-purpose space to provide training and outreach programs, all in a well designed, and environmentally-conscious facility.
“It remains our goal to place all adoptable animals in permanent homes and this new center will help us continue to reach that goal,” Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith said. “The City’s new Animal Center provides a cleaner, safer and an overall healthier environment for the animals, as well as pleasant setting for human visitors, and that means more homeless animals will be saved.”
Artist Brad Goldberg created a 30-foot diameter low limestone spiral of sculptural seating enveloping the walkway to the main entrance of the Animal Center as the Art in Public Places feature of the site. The arcs of the spiral pay homage to the architectural and cultural history of the property, which was once home to the segregated Texas Blind, Deaf and Orphan School.
The 2-foot diameter granite disks are embedded in the paving with sandblasted imagery that traces the history of the site from its earliest geologic origins of being a shallow sea to more recent history that constitutes this neighborhood’s memory.
The project was managed by the City of Austin’s Public Works Department. The architect for the project was Jackson Ryan Architects and the main contractor was VCC. The new Animal Center will be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified.
Contact: Patricia Fraga, Communications and Public Information
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