Although the official announcement of construction and the date for ground breaking have yet to be published, the ball is definitely rolling on plans for a new SPCA regional facility to be built in Castlegar.
The City of Castlegar has been in talks with the BC SPCA for quite some time and is planning on donating approximately one acre of land near the Kootenay Gallery of Art for the project. Last week city council passed the first two readings of a zoning amendment that would allow for the development of the location.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is currently in the process of closing off a portion of ministry road right-of-way to accommodate the SPCA facility. The ministry has also indicated it will issue an encroachment permit to allow the SPCA to begin work on the proposed parcel prior to final registration and transfer of the lands.
The new facility will replace the aging facility currently located in Trail and will be over 4000 sq. ft., more than double the current facility. “It’s an exciting time,” said the society’s CEO Craig Daniell. “The facility in Trail is one of our poorest facilities across the province and we earmarked it for replacement some time ago. We are pleased to partner with the City of Castlegar to hopefully get a new facility up and running within a year.”
“What we are looking to do is to provide the services that we have provided in the past, such as animal cruelty investigation and sheltering of animals, but in a very modern and great facility,” said Daniell. “We also want to expand services into the community… things like youth education programs.”
To accommodate the expansion of services the new facility will have large multi-purpose rooms from which to run programs and outreach into the community.
The society is currently in the design stage of the $2 million project. They have obtained about 75 percent of the necessary funding including $800,000 from the province. The rest of the money will come from reserves and ongoing fundraising. Anyone interested in donating specifically to this project can do so by contacting the BC SPCA at 604-681-7271 or by dropping by the Trail SPCA branch. “Any donation we get for the project, we set aside in a building fund for that purpose,” explained Daniell.
“We are pretty confident that we have a strong base of support in the Kootenays,” added Daniell. “So if all things go well, we anticipate an official announcement some time in the summer.” If that is the case, the announcement will be followed by a ground breaking in late summer and as long as the necessary funding has been obtained, construction beginning before the end of the year.